City removes symbols of hate, heals racial wounds + Thursday news

The Confederate statues in Memphis Park and Health Sciences Park were taken down last night.

This letter from Mayor Strickland explains it all, but here’s the short version:

Mayor Strickland was determined that the statues should come down legally. Unfortunately the Tennessee Historical Commission ruled that the city could not legally remove the statues from city-owned parks.

However, the city does have the right to sell parks it owns at below-market value. Owners of private parks can legally remove items on the land they own, including statues. Yesterday the City Council voted unanimously to authorize Mayor Strickland to sell those two parks to a newly formed nonprofit, Memphis Greenspace, for $1000 each. The sale was completed yesterday afternoon and the statues were taken down last night. It was done with a swiftness that kept those who would oppose the removal of the statues (possibly with violence) from having time to mobilize.

Well done City Council, Mr. Mayor, the organizers of the new nonprofit, and everyone involved. Those statues were monuments to racism, discrimination, and hate. If they are to be viewed, they should be viewed within context that those statues were put up in the days of Jim Crow and in the days of the backlash by whites to the Civil Rights Act, and that those are not the values we as a society hold anymore.

On to the news..

The Orpheum will host LeMoyne-Owen College’s A Soulful Holiday Evening tonight at 7. Chanté Moore and renowned group CAMEO will perform. Proceeds will benefit The United Negro College Fund.

The inaugural Sip & Shop kicks off today from 4 to 9 PM. The way it works is, you start at LYFE Kitchen and pick up a passport. Then you go visit participating South Main shops and restaurants, getting your passport stamped at each place you visit. Participating locations include

  • Rizzo’s
  • South Main Book Juggler
  • Red Velvet Clothing
  • 409 S. Main food hall
  • Inspired Christian Design
  • Peddler Bike Shop

Collect at least 3 stamps and return to LYFE Kitchen before 9 PM to receive a free appetizer.

MATA has announced that the rubber-wheeled trolley buses will not run December 25 and January 1.

The DMC has named its Top 10 “Game Changer” properties for redevelopment.

Max’s Sports Bar at 115 G.E. Patterson will have Miller Lite specials and swag tomorrow night:

Last night at the Blind Bear was holiday movie trivia night, and Charles asked a question about Miracle on 34th Street. “Is New York City the only city that has a 34th Street?” Charles commented after giving the answer. Um, Charles, most major cities have 34th Streets. Memphis is the rare exception (I think Seventh is as high as it goes here). My hometown of Little Rock has a 34th Street, although it’s not the kind of street anyone would ever make a movie about.

Memphis Made has announced that they will open their taproom early, at 10 AM, on Saturday, December 30, the day of the Liberty Bowl. They will have the game on their huge projector in the event room.

Sam’s Hamburgers is moving across Madison to 7 N. Main.

NBC News has a look at how Russian trolls hijacked conversations on Twitter during key moments in the 2016 presidential election campaign to strike fear and the need for autocracy in the hearts of Americans. Don’tcha hate those crazy trolls?

That’ll do it for now. One more day until the holiday weekend.