Oh….the things you’ve been lied to about! You see, those people stir up hatred for two reasons and two reasons ONLY, Money and power. Those people RUINED race relations by their lies and sanctimonious pontifications. Blacks had not been integrated into society, they were THROWN into it. Which is why we have such a disparity between people now.
The Independent Order of Pole-Bearers Association (predecessor to the NAACP) was organized by Southern blacks after the war to promote voting rights, etc. One of their early conventions was held in Memphis and the General was invited to be the guest speaker. General Forrest was the first white man ever to be invited to speak to the Association.
After the war, General Forrest made a speech to the Memphis City Council (then called the Board of Aldermen). In this speech he said that there was no reason that the black man could not be doctors, store clerks, bankers, or any other job equal to whites. Forrest also said they are part of our community and should be involved and employed as such just like anyone else. Forrest also told Federal authorities that many of the ex-servants were skilled artisans and needed to be employed and that those skills needed to be taught to the younger workers.
Here is General Forrest’s address and some surrounding events from July 5, 1875 in Memphis, TN.
An invitation to speak was sent to General Forrest, one of the city’s most prominent citizens. This was the first invitation granted to a white man to speak at this gathering. The invitation’s purpose, one of the leaders said, was to extend peace, joy, and union, and following a brief welcoming address Miss Lou Lewis, daughter of an officer of the Pole-Bearers, brought forward flowers and assurances that she conveyed them as a token of good will. After Miss Lewis handed General Forrest the flowers, this is what he said:
“Ladies and Gentlemen I accept the flowers as a memento of reconciliation between the white and colored races of the southern states. I accept it more particularly as it comes from a colored lady, for if there is any one on God’s earth who loves the ladies I believe it is myself. ( Immense applause and laughter.) I came here with the jeers of some white people, who think that I am doing wrong. I believe I can exert some influence, and do much to assist the people in strengthening fraternal relations, and shall do all in my power to elevate every man to depress none. (Applause.) I want to elevate you to take positions in law offices, in stores, on farms, and wherever you are capable of going. I have not said anything about politics today. I don’t propose to say anything about politics. You have a right to elect whom you please; vote for the man you think best, and I think, when that is done, you and I are freemen. Do as you consider right and honest in electing men for office. I did not come here to make you a long speech, although invited to do so by you. I am not much of a speaker, and my business prevented me from preparing myself. I came to meet you as friends, and welcome you to the white people. I want you to come nearer to us. When I can serve you I will do so. We have but one flag, one country; let us stand together. We may differ in color, but not in sentiment. Many things have been said about me which are wrong, and which white and black persons here, who stood by me through the war, can contradict. Go to work, be industrious, live honestly and act truly, and when you are oppressed I’ll come to your relief. I thank you, ladies and gentlemen, for this opportunity you have afforded me to be with you, and to assure you that I am with you in heart and in hand. (Prolonged applause.)”
General Forrest again thanked Miss Lewis for the bouquet and then gave her a kiss on the cheek. This was NOT done in 1875.
The lies about this honorable, fearless, protector stop NOW.