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Tennessee governor criticized for Confederate proclamation

Gov. Bill Lee has appointed members to a task force dedicated to addressing and improving Tennessee’s criminal justice system./ Source: WTVF
Gov. Bill Lee has appointed members to a task force dedicated to addressing and improving Tennessee’s criminal justice system./ Source: WTVF(WVLT)
Published: Jul. 12, 2019 at 9:33 PM EDT
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Republican Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee is facing backlash for signing a proclamation ordering a day to honor Confederate Gen. Nathan Bedford Forrest, an early leader of the Ku Klux Klan.

Lee told reporters this week that a 1969 state law required him to sign the proclamation but declined to say whether he believed the law should be repealed.

The proclamation designates July 13 as "Nathan Bedford Forrest Day."

Forrest was a Confederate cavalry general who had amassed a fortune as a plantation owner and slave trader in Memphis before the Civil War.

By Friday, Lee was receiving pushback from both Republicans and Democrats for signing the proclamation.

Texas Sen. Ted Cruz tweeted signing it was wrong and urged Lee to change the law.

Copyright 2019 Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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