Republican lawmaker celebrates birthday of Alabama KKK leader the same day John Lewis’s legacy is honored in the state

A Republican lawmaker in Alabama faces a backlash after posting a photo celebrating the birthday of a Confederate general, who was also a leader of the Ku Klux Klan, the same day the state honored the legacy of the late civil rights icon. , Representative John. Luis.

State Representative Will Dismukes of Prattville, in a now-deleted Facebook post, celebrated the birthday of Nathan Bedford Forrest, who was the KKK’s first great wizard.


“I had a great time at Fort Dixie speaking and giving the invocation for Nathan Bedford Forrest’s annual birthday celebration. It is always a good time and you will surely eat well! The Republican member of the State House wrote in the publication.

Dismukes appeared in the photo, speaking in front of a podium with several Confederate flags and a portrait of Forrest in the background.

Dismukes posted a statement on his now private Facebook account on Monday, saying, “My post did not glorify the Klan or disrespect the late Rep. John Lewis.”

“I am a transparent person. To the point that, as a public official, I put everything there for people to see, for better or for worse, sometimes. The post was not intended to appear as if it were glorifying the Klan or any part of it. The same atrocities and actions they committed are a disgrace to our country, ”said Dismukes.

The conviction for Dismukes’ actions came from across the hall. State Representative Danny Garrett, who is also the majority whip in the state House of Representatives, did not specifically name Dismukes, but posted on Twitter that “he cannot understand why someone in 2020 is celebrating the birthday of the first Great Wizard of KKK” .

“And while the body of a Klan-struck civil rights icon is located on the State Capitol, it is honored by Republican and Democratic leaders across the state. This mindset does not represent my party or my faith,” Garrett, who attended the memorial services. pay your respects to the late Lewis, she wrote.

Wade Perry, executive director of the Alabama Democratic Party, called for Dismukes to step down, saying that “he has once again shown why he is unfit for public office.”

“It is 2020 and it is time for racial extremists like Will Dismukes to leave,” Perry said.

Alabama Democrats condemned Dismukes’ attendance at the event, particularly as it coincided with events that culminated in Lewis lying on the State Capitol to honor his history as a civil rights hero and ties to Selma, where Lewis grew up.

“Representative Will Dismukes (R-1865) passed today honoring a founder of the KKK rather than a giant of the Civil Rights Movement. Both events took place in Selma, but there are really no two sides to this,” wrote the group on Twitter.

Dismukes, who was also a former chaplain for the Prattville Dragoons: Sons of Confederate Veterans, has faced criticism in recent weeks for his position on other racially charged issues in his state.


Last week, he faced shouts of resignation after he refused to lend his support to refining the Confederate Memorial Park, insisting that it was a remnant of history that deserves to be preserved.