J. Tyler Franklin

A panel of legal experts is warning that the city of Louisville needs to take legal measures to prevent further action by militia groups, including right-wing militias such as the “Three-Percenters” and the NFAC, a new national Black militia.

“This is not protest in America,” Mary McCord said referring to the convergence of opposing militias in Louisville Saturday.

McCord is the legal director of Georgetown University’s Institute for Constitutional Advocacy and Protection (ICAP), which helped advise the City of Charlottesville in preventing militia groups from returning after the 2017 Unite the Right rally. She was speaking as part of a panel Wednesday hosted by ICAP and moderated by NPR’s Michel Martin.

Updated at 6:20 p.m. ET

The House of Representatives approved legislation Wednesday to remove statues honoring figures who were part of the Confederacy during the Civil War from the U.S. Capitol. The bill would also replace the bust of Chief Justice Roger Brooke Taney, author of the Supreme Court's 1857 Dred Scott decision denying freedom to an enslaved man, and replace it with a bust of Justice Thurgood Marshall.

Sergio Martinez-Beltran | WPLN

After hearing impassioned speeches from Black lawmakers, the Tennessee State Capitol Commission voted for the first time to remove the bust of Nathan Bedford Forrest.

And, in a last-minute vote, the group also voted to take out two other military figures from the capitol’s second floor.

The initial proposal — of removing Forrest— has been championed by Black Sen. Brenda Gilmore, D-Nashville, for years, as well as by activists.

“These monuments represent the values that unite us and the moral principles that guide our society,” Gilmore told the panel. “Nathan Beford Forrest does not represent the values of Tennessee.”

Rhonda J. Miller

As protests against racism continue in cities around the globe, a statue of Jefferson Davis has been removed from the rotunda of the Kentucky State Capitol.

By a vote of 11-to-1, the state Historic Properties Advisory Commission concluded last month that the statue would be most appropriately relocated to the Jefferson Davis State Historic Site in Fairview, Ky.

The historic site is 200 miles southwest of the state capitol, in rural Todd County, where the president of the Confederacy was born.

But some civil rights advocates are concerned that locating the statue at the historic site won’t add to a fair representation of Kentucky’s past - or present. 

Tennessee officials are expected to take the first step toward removing the bust of Confederate General Nathan Bedford Forrest from inside the Capitol.

Gov. Bill Lee says he will convene the State Capitol Commission to meet and vote next week.

Tennessee law gives the commission the first say on the bust, but even if it supports removal, there’s no guarantee it would move. It would set up a much lengthier review by the Tennessee Historical Commission — deliberations that Lee says he support.

“This process is the opposite of the mob rule that unfortunately has been dominating the national headlines around historical displays,” he says. “I have confidence that our process here in Tennessee, with the capitol commission, will be fair and representative of Tennesseans.”


Protests across the state and the country against police brutality and structural racism have the attention of Kentucky education officials, including Ky. Lt Gov. Jacqueline Coleman. At Wednesday’s Kentucky Board of Education meeting, Coleman put forward several proposals, including statewide implicit bias training for teachers.

“I feel public education was made to meet the moment,” Coleman said, who is also the secretary of the Education and Workforce Development Cabinet.

“My first proposal is for the Department of Education to partner with schools across Kentucky to develop and implement a very needed implicit bias training for faculties across the across our communities,” she said.

Sergio Martinez-Beltran | WPLN

There’s going to be a new debate next year about the future of the bust of Nathan Bedford Forrest in the Tennessee Capitol.

The announcement came on Wednesday afternoon after pleas from activists — and some Republican lawmakers.

Tennessee Finance Commissioner Stuart McWhorter, the chairman of the State Capitol Commission, committed to having a meeting before the end of February.

“There are varying and diverse and passionate opinions about this,” McWhorter said during a commission meeting to discuss unrelated matters. “So, for that reason it requires serious time and effort.”

University of Southern Indiana

The University of Southern Indiana is investigating a series of white supremacist flyers left on cars at the school’s campus in Evansville.

The flyers were found Tuesday on U.S.I.’s campus, and asked the question, “Proud to be white?” A school spokesman confirmed the flyers, and said U.S.I.’s public safety division is looking into it.

The Evansville Courier & Press reported the flyers contained a QR code that connects to the website for a group called The Creativity Alliance.

Tennessee's Republican governor, Bill Lee, is facing public backlash after he declared Saturday "Nathan Bedford Forrest Day," continuing a decades-old tradition honoring the Confederate general, slave trader and onetime leader of the Ku Klux Klan.

Updated at 8:55 a.m. ET

A private detective agency hired by the diocese that oversees Kentucky's Covington Catholic High School says there's no evidence that the school's students instigated a conflict with a Native American man near the steps of the Lincoln Memorial last month.

Papa John's Founder: Stepping Down as Chairman a "Mistake"

Jul 18, 2018
Flickr/Creative Commons

Papa John's founder John Schnatter says the pizza chain doesn't know how to handle a "crisis based on misinformation" and that he made a "mistake" in agreeing to step down as chairman.

Schnatter says the board requested that he step down as chairman without "any investigation" and he should not have complied, according to a letter his representative says was sent to the board Saturday. The contents of the letter were first reported by the Wall Street Journal.

In 1967, over 100 cities, large and small, exploded in fire and violence, the result of decades of discrimination against black populations in places like Cleveland, Nashville, Boston and Newark. The biggest riot at the time was in Detroit. After five days of rioting, 33 blacks and 10 whites were dead and property damage totaled more than $100 million.

The aftermath of the violent protest and counterprotests in Charlottesville, Va., over the weekend continue to reverberate across the country — sparking discussions about race and the country's Civil War past.

Mourners gathered in Charlottesville on Wednesday to remember Heather Heyer, who was killed on Saturday when a car rammed into a crowd of people protesting the white nationalist rally. Attendees were asked to wear purple, Heyer's favorite color, in her memory.


A white nationalist leader says his group will organize against efforts in Lexington to move two Confederate-era statues.

The New York Times reports Matthew Heimbach made the comments Monday following the weekend violence at a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia.

Heimbach is the founder of the Nationalist Front, which has been described as an umbrella organization for white nationalist hate groups.

Officer Accused of Mocking Death in Charlottesville, Va.

Aug 15, 2017
Creative Commons

A Kentucky police officer is facing discipline for allegedly making a Facebook post mocking the death of a woman killed after a vehicle rammed into a protest against a white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia.

Shively police Lt. Col. Josh Myers says that Officer Morris Rinehardt was placed Monday on paid administrative leave and that an internal investigation is underway.

Local news outlets report the post on Rinehardt's personal Facebook page is a picture of a car with a caption that says, "When you were born a Challenger but identify as a Ram." The man charged in connection to the Charlottesville incident was driving a Dodge Challenger.