Never a big fan of bumper stickers or vanity plates, Hank had to scratch his head today with the latest news: the Mississippi division of the Sons of the Confederacy’s plan to issue a state-issued license plate honoring an early leader of the Ku Klux Klan.
Proposed as one of a series, these vanity plates would purportedly honor the 150th anniversary of the “War Between the States”, which the rest of the planet knows as the U.S. Civil War. The distinguished honoree is none other than “Wizard in the Saddle” Confederate General Nathan Bedford Forrest, millionaire plantation owner, slave trader and military strategist and tactician. You may remember Gen. Forrest as the gallant who led the 1864 massacre of hundreds of mostly black Union troops at Fort Pillow, Tennessee then went on to become the first Grand Wizard of the KKK.
….So you can see why he’d be memorialized on license plates.
Mississippi state NAACP president Derrick Johnson’s reaction to the news pretty well captured Hank’s sentiment on that: “Seriously? Wow.”
The group proposes a different design each year between now and 2015. General Forrest is planned for 2014. Collect all five!
Like many other states, Mississippi currently offers a range of vanity plates – such as Elvis, NASCAR, NRA, “Choose Life”, “God Bless America” as well as a laundry list of other personal fancies and “Ex-[insert occupation here]” choices – so perhaps “Ex-(in this case, dead) Racist War Criminal” plates are just the ticket.
Well, my goodness. Truth is stranger than fiction once again.