This Is The Best GOP Idea Of The Entire Decade, Not That There Was A Long List!
As we have heard over and over and over again for the last several years, we are a divided nation. Mostly because of the people who are terrible. It's not us, we're lovely.
But there is one thing — one person, rather — who unites us all, kind of, and it is Dolly Parton.
Really? you ask. Everyone likes Dolly Parton?
YES. Sort of! The North loves her, the South loves her, liberals love her, conservatives love her, old people love her, young people love her, squares love her, hipsters love her. At the very least, no one is mad at Dolly Parton, which counts for a lot these days. And sure, you could note that she is, indeed, very much a white lady, but rather than stealing from black culture as many white artists are wont to do, she brought this:
Whitney Houston - I Will Always Love You www.youtube.com
IT'S STILL SO GOOD.
Anyway, just last week, I told Nikki Haley (on Twitter), that if I were a Southerner, I would find it very insulting for people to go around acting like the best thing we ever did was to fight a war so we could keep human beings as slaves. Particularly when there are lots of far better things they could brag about. Like Dolly Parton! And really good food! Food that is almost as good as Italian food.
Well, it seems someone heard me! And oddly enough, it was a Republican. Rep. Jeremy Faison of Tennessee is suggesting replacing a bust of Nathaniel Bedford Forrest, founder of the Ku Klux Klan, in the Tennessee Capitol building with a bust of Dolly Parton.
Via The Tennessean:
"I fundamentally reject any notion by someone saying that moving him to the museum is trying to whitewash history," Faison said, referencing comments made by numerous Tennessee Republicans, including Gov. Bill Lee at one point, amid an ongoing debate about whether the state should relocate the bust. "If we want to preserve history, then let's tell it the right way. Right now there are eight alcoves (in the Capitol). Seven are filled with white men."
"How about getting a lady in there?" Faison asked. "My daughter is 16, and I would love for her to come into the Capitol and see a lady up there. What's wrong with Anne Dallas Dudley getting in that alcove?" Faison added, referring to the 19th-century women's suffrage activist from Nashville.
"What's wrong with someone like Dolly Parton being put in that alcove?"
NOTHING. Nothing is wrong with that. This is a fantastic idea and I co-sign it 10,000 percent. Writing "Jolene" and helping all the kids to read is an objectively better contribution to humanity than starting the Ku Klux Klan, and anyone who would argue otherwise is a monster. Dolly Parton makes us all better people.
Faison did not come to this understanding on his own. According to The Tennessean, he actually argued for keeping the bust two years ago. He argued that the bust of Forrest, erected in 1978, was a part of history and ought to be left alone. But then a black person came and suggested that he consider actually looking into who the hell Forrest was, and miraculously, he changed his mind. How this isn't a Farrelly Brothers movie yet, I don't know:
Rep. G.A. Hardaway, an African American lawmaker from Memphis, asked Faison if he had ever read any of Forrest's own writings about his ideology. The East Tennessee Republican began a process of understanding what he describes as the pain of Forrest's legacy.
Faison, who has since become chairman of the House Republican Caucus, believes the bust should now be removed from the Capitol and placed in the state museum.
I kid, but it is actually vanishingly rare these days for a conservative to A) listen to a black person, and B) read something like the works of Nathaniel Bedford Forrest and come out of it realizing that his views were bad, rather than come out of it with plans to join up with Atomwaffen. Humanity surprises us sometimes!
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Robyn Pennacchia is a brilliant, fabulously talented and visually stunning angel of a human being, who shrugged off what she is pretty sure would have been a Tony Award-winning career in musical theater in order to write about stuff on the internet. Follow her on Twitter at @RobynElyse