Nashville NAACP calls for peaceful talk in wake of Charlottesville violence

Photo: WKRN

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – The violence in Virginia is sparking discussion across the country especially in states with similar statues honoring the same Confederate generals.

The Nashville branch of the NAACP discourages any violence. President Ludye Wallace told News 2 there are better ways to handle these debates, starting by talking rather than fighting.

With a rich Civil War history, many Tennessee towns have statues just like the one fueling the fight in Virginia.

“If somebody don’t point it out, you may not even pay it any attention,” said Wallace, who believes any disagreement over statues here would be much more peaceful.

“Nashville and Tennessee is a little different in some places. I don’t think we would have the same problem that you see in Virginia,” said Wallace. “Nashville, for example, is a place where the civil rights movement is embedded.”

Over the last few years, several statues in the Volunteer State have come under fire including a head bust of Nathan Bedford Forrest at the state capital.

Vanderbilt University removed the word “Confederate” from Memorial Hall, and MTSU is still working to change the name of Forrest Hall on the campus in Murfreesboro.

“Two sides to a story, that is acceptable,” said Wallace who talked with News 2 on Saturday evening.

Another statue that has caught the eye of many is the Forrest figure riding a horse along I-65 south of Nashville.

“If there are people in opposition to the removal of some of these names and statues, that is acceptable.”

Wallace said there could be a different debate brewing over proposed development at Ft. Negley, another historic site.

“There are a lot of blacks that were slaves and a lot of people that lost their lives at Ft. Negley,” Wallace explained.

Either way, no matter what stance you take, Wallace hopes you will make it peaceful.

“You don’t have to force it and draw the line for everybody. It needs to be an individual’s choice.”

Click here for complete coverage on the Charlottesville protests.