Tennessee lawmakers punish Memphis for removing statues
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — The Republican-dominated House in Tennessee has voted to punish the city of Memphis for removing Confederate monuments by taking $250,000 away from the city that would have been used for planning a bicentennial celebration next year.
The retaliation Tuesday came in the form of passage of a last-minute amendment attached to the House appropriations bill that triggered heated debate on the House floor.
Democratic Rep. Antonio Parkinson of Memphis called the amendment vile and racist. He was loudly booed by fellow lawmakers.
Last year the city of Memphis, which is majority black, was able to find a loophole to get three Confederate statues taken down by selling city parks to a nonprofit, which swiftly removed the monuments. Some state lawmakers vowed afterward to punish Memphis for doing it.
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