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Memphis Privatizes Its Parks to Get Rid of Confederate Statues

The following excerpt is from an article that originally appeared on Hit and Run Reason

A Tennessee city has come up with a novel way to get rid of Confederate monuments: privatization.

Yesterday the Memphis City Council unanimously agreed to sell Health Science Park and an easement at Fourth Bluff Park for $1,000 apiece to Memphis Greenspace, a local nonprofit. That same night, Greenspace removed the statue of the Confederate general and Ku Klux Klan grand wizard Nathan Bedford Forrest.

Tennessee’s Heritage Protection Act, you see, forbids the removal of historic statues from public land. Passed in 2013, the act states that “no memorial regarding a historic conflict, historic entity, historic event, historic figure, or historic organization that is, or is located on, public property, may be removed, renamed, relocated, altered, rededicated, or otherwise disturbed or altered.”

The law was itself a response to Memphis’ attempt simply to change some parks’ names. (Among them: Confederate Park, Jefferson Davis Park, and Forrest Park). The council

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