In case you haven’t noticed your calendar in the last, say … century … it’s 2013.
A year known to many as high-tech and carefree, love for all mankind, accepting of just about anything. Back a couple of years ago, say … 153 of them … people were different. You see, there were these backward-ass country bumpkins who thought certain folk should be subservient to others based on how they looked.
It’s a long story but I’ll paraphrase: These inbred hicks revolted and caused a big stink. Many other more civil-thinking people fought for an end of this depraved mentality, and then this guy named Abe who sported this righteous beard told those innocent people to go find their own home. Something about a proclamation or some such. (See there, PBS? And you didn’t want to hire me to do voice-over work.)
So, why discuss the difference in years? Here’s why…
Because in 2013, we still have a school named after Gen. Nathan Bedford Forrest.
Who’s he? This guy was such a hothead for the South Army, Gen. William Tecumseh Sherman once said of Forrest:
“Forrest is the very devil, If we must sacrifice 10,000 lives and bankrupt the Federal Treasury, it will be worth it. There will never be peace in Tennessee till Forrest is dead.”
A malevolent little turd like this doesn’t take losing well. So, he goes off into the darkness with six of his buddies, pouting and dog-cussing humanity under their collective heinous and moonshine-laced breath. Slaves were free, but in Forrest’s mind, they still needed to part of the workforce.
“I am not an enemy of the negro,” Forrest said. “We want him here among us; he is the only laboring class we have.”
That’s right, kids. Gen. Forrest is the father of the Ku Klux Klan. And again, in 2013, there was a damn high school in Florida named after this horse’s @$$!
Back in 1959, a bunch of white dudes in Florida thought naming a high school after this cat would be a nice homage to ‘Merica (and to protest court orders to integrate schools, no joke). And so, N.B. Forrest High School was born. Fast forward 54 years — five decades — and the Duval County School Board decides changing the name of the school would be a groovy idea.
The kicker is that the students created the petition in order to get the school board to get their thumbs out of their Appomattox. (The few history dorks out there are laughing out loud right now.) Upon hearing this word, the Missouri chapter of the KKK decided to write the school board:
“The Klan was born primarily as a fraternity and quickly evolved into a group of vigilance to protect defenseless southerners from criminal activities perpetrated against them by Yankee carpet baggers, scalawags, and many bestial blacks and other criminal elements out for revenge or just taking part in criminal mischief,” read the letter, which was sent from the Traditionalist American Knights of the Ku Klux Klan.
Did I mention what year it was again for this big PR fail against that school board? Fortunately, there is a PR win for the community outside Jacksonville has offered more than $400,000 to help pay for the name change, uniform, paintings, mascot and anything else that reflects Forrest’s image or name.
I guess Whitney was right. Children really are the future. Because it seems everyone in Jacksonville has been living in the past this whole time.