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June 20, 2020

Dolly Parton's Fans Ask to Replace Confederate Statues With 'Monument' of Beloved Music Icon

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Petition to replace Tennessee statues of "men who sought to tear this country apart" with those of beloved music icon Dolly Parton, gains close to 18,000 signatures.

These are historic times for the U.S and the world as a whole. From lockdowns due to the COVID-19 pandemic to protests and riots against police brutality and eventually the destruction of statues of controversial historical figures, these are testing times indeed.

The U.S legislature also moved to correct some of the ails of the society, with a law banning some dangerous police techniques. However, several residents of the state of Tennessee believe there is more to be done. 

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Fans of American country music icon Dolly Parton, are requesting that statues of Confederate officers in Tennessee be taken down and replaced by figures of the music legend and philanthropist.

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A "change.org" petition to this cause, which started last week, has already gained about 18,000 signatures. The request laments the abundance of statues immortalizing Confederate officers who "sought to tear the country apart" and demands their removal. It states:

"...we need not glamorize those who do not deserve our praise. Instead, let us honor a true Tennessee hero, Dolly Parton."

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The petition stresses that Parton is more than just a music legend, as she has "touched the lives of millions of Americans," referencing the 74-year-old's efforts via her foundation: "Dollywood." 

Since its inception, Dollywood has provided books and scholarships to millions of American children, while also providing support in the form of donations to various organizations including the American Red Cross.

 Taylor Swift recently released a statement calling on the Tennessee Historical Commission to remove the statues.

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The reasoning behind the request appears to be shared by thousands, including actor Henry Winkler and Texas Senator Ted Cruz, who are both in favor of a monument honoring Parton. 

"Now this seems worthwhile: replace the statue of Nathan Bedford Forrest — former delegate to 1860 Democrat National Convention, vicious slave trader & the founder of the KKK — with the great Dolly Parton. A win-win," Cruz wrote on Twitter. Winkler added:

"Now that is Right..Dolly is a treasure."

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The petition was launched a few days after Taylor Swift, a Tennessee native herself, released a statement, calling on the Tennessee Historical Commission as well as the Capitol commission to remove the monuments. She stated that their existence "celebrate racist historical figures who did evil things."

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Parton recently donated a million dollars to curtail the pandemic's effects, expressing her gratitude for the courage of health officials tackling the novel coronavirus. 

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