NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WFLA) — An online petition is calling on Tennessee lawmakers to replace all of the state’s Confederate memorials with statues of country music superstar Dolly Parton.
The Change.org petition to “replace all Confederate statues in Tennessee with Dolly Parton” launched late last week. By Monday evening, it already had more than 10,600 signatures.
“Tennessee is littered with statues memorializing confederate officers. History should not be forgotten, but we need not glamorize those who do not deserve our praise. Instead, let us honor a true Tennessee hero, Dolly Parton,” Alex Parsons, the person behind the petition wrote.
Petitioners say Parton is a perfect replacement because of her “philanthropic heart.” Parton started “The Imagination Library,” a free book gifting program for children, in the late 90s. It’s part of the Dollywood Foundation she founded to inspire students in her hometown to achieve academic success.
The petition also points out the millions of dollars the country singer has donated to organizations like the Red Cross and COVID-19 research centers.
“Dolly Parton has given more to this country and this state than those confederate officers could ever have hoped to take away,” the petition states. “Let’s replace the statues of men who sought to tear this country apart with a monument to the woman who has worked her entire life to bring us closer together.”
Tennessee lawmakers last week voted against a bid to remove a controversial bust of Nathan Bedford Forrest from the state capitol. The Confederate general also happens to be the first grand wizard of the KKK.
“While the idea of replacing all of those monuments with Dolly Parton may seem funny, the history of those monuments is anything but,” Parsons wrote in an updated statement over the weekend.
So far, Parton has not publicly commented on the petition. According to Change.org, it will be sent to the Tennessee State House, the Tennessee State Senate and Gov. Bill Lee.
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