Worry checklist: Redskins, Woodrow Wilson, Hagerty’s jeans

Frank CagleFrank Talk

Things that make you want to go Hmmm…

  • The General Assembly added two new positions to the Capitol Commission, appointed by the speakers, to head off a vote to remove the Nathan Bedford Forrest bust from the capitol. The bill finally got to Gov. Bill Lee’s desk last week. He has 10 business days to sign it. In the meantime, Lee has called a meeting for Thursday to have the existing Capitol Commission, chaired by his finance commissioner, vote on the Forrest issue before the measure to add members is in effect.
  • Dear President Trump: Senior citizens are the most reliable voters and a key demographic within your base. Just a reminder. If you and your non-mask-wearing supporters get us all killed before November, we can’t vote for you. I’m just sayin’…
  • Princeton University has discovered that President Woodrow Wilson was a racist and the trustees have voted to rename the School of Public Policy and a residence hall named for him. Evidently the school administration finally learned how to use Google. Doesn’t say much for the school history department though.

Frank Cagle

Some time back I did a column about Wilson re-segregating the federal government after decades of integration under Republican presidents. Wilson was originally from Virginia and it was his contention that slavery was a benefit because slaves “were happy and well cared for.” The War Memorial Building adjacent to the state capitol in Nashville has a Wilson quote carved onto its face. He is thus featured with other prominent historical racists at the capitol like Nathan Bedford Forrest, Andrew Johnson and Edward Carmack. If we are removing statues how about chipping away the quote.

Wilson, who served as the president of Princeton, ran for governor of New Jersey and then for president. He screened “Birth of a Nation” at the White House, a movie that glorified the Ku Klux Klan, based on a book called “The Clansman” written by his old college roommate.

(The quote, just before he got us into a senseless war in Europe, is “The day has come when America is privileged to spend her blood and her might for the principles that gave her birth and happiness, and the peace which she has treasured.”)

  • Meanwhile the NFL is going to review the “Washington Redskins” name. They have to review it because the team has only had that name for 87 years before the NFL thought it might be a problem. The team began life as the Boston Braves but the name was changed so as not to be confused with the baseball team that is now the Atlanta Braves.
  • Trump says coverage of him is unfair. How silly is that? The demented, gaffe-prone Joe Biden is a target-rich environment for late night comedians who can make hilarious fun of his befuddlement. Oh, wait. … Never mind.
  • You can buy UT football tickets “contactless” on a mobile ticketing device on smart phones. You then use the digital signal instead of a paper ticket. No contact to buy a ticket for Neyland Stadium to sit next to thousands of other Vol fans?
  • Bill Hagerty and Manny Sethi are touring rural county Lincoln Day dinners to drum up support for their U.S. Senate race. In his casual-attire television commercials it appears that Hagerty borrowed Barack Obama’s “Mom Jeans.” He needs to find some good ol’ boy wearing faded Wranglers and swap with him.
  • Former Auburn football coach Tommy Tuberville is running against Jeff Sessions in the Alabama U.S. Senate race. Will Tide fans vote for the former Auburn coach who went 7-3 against the Tide? I checked in with relatives who are Alabama Crimson Tide fanatics. Not only will they vote for Tuberville, if it means voting against Sessions, the answer is a resounding “hell yes.” Besides, as Tubervillle points out, his winning over all those loser coaches led Alabama to hire Nick Saban.
  • Words of wisdom heard during the Fourth of July celebration: A 6-year-old boy explaining to his 4-year-old sister what “fireworks” means. “You set it on fire and you hope it works.”

Frank Cagle is a veteran newspaper editor and columnist who writes Frank Talk each Tuesday for KnoxTNToday.


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