A Dolly Parton fan has launched an online petition urging officials to replace statues of controversial Confederate figures with monuments to the country queen.
Alex Parsons is petitioning the Tennessee State House, Tennessee State Senate, and Tennessee Governor Bill Lee via Change.org, calling for the Jolene singer’s likeness to replace monuments to Confederate generals and key figures from the Confederacy throughout the state.
“History should not be forgotten, but we need not glamorize those who do not deserve our praise,” Parsons argued. “Instead, let us honor a true Tennessee hero, Dolly Parton.
“Dolly Parton has given more to this country and this state than those confederate officers could ever have hoped to take away. Let’s replace the statues of men who sought to tear this country apart with a monument to the woman who has worked her entire life to bring us closer together.”
Parsons’s petition had been signed by more than 13,000 people as of Tuesday morning.
News of the petition drops days after Taylor Swift revealed she was fighting for the removal of statues honoring Edward Carmack, a “white supremacist newspaper editor”, and Confederate general-turned-Ku Klux Klan Grand Wizard Nathan Bedford Forest.
She is asking officials at the Capital Commission and the Tennessee Historical Commission to “consider the implications of how hurtful it would be to continue fighting for these monuments”, admitting it makes her “sick” to see statues honoring “figures who did evil things”.
Swift wrote: “We need to retroactively change the status of people who perpetuated hideous patterns of racism from ‘heroes’ to ‘villains’. And villains don’t deserve statues. When you fight to honor racists, you show black Tennesseans and all of their allies where you stand, and you continue this cycle of hurt. You can’t change history, but you can change this.”