Since rioting broke out in Charlottesville, Virginia, this past weekend, many have come forward to condemn racism, bigotry and hate in subsequent rallies. Lead singer of Remedy drive, David Zach, joined one at the Tennessee Capitol Monday night.
The musician, who joined hundreds to denounce the statue of Confederate general Nathan Bedford Forrest, admitted he'd had enough especially after violent clashes erupted between white supremacists and counter-protesters during the "Unite the Right" rally in Charlottesville on Saturday.
Zach, who had his two young daughters with him, posted his speech on Facebook and further explained why he needed to speak out.
The following is his explanation in its entirety.
"Standing against white supremacy with my daughters in the halls of power in TN today. Stella holds an American Girl Doll named Melody. Melody was a civil rights activist in the 60s. Out of the hundreds of dolls in the store she gravitated right towards Melody. Maybe because Melody looks like one of her best friends.
Ava, my brown haired daughter, after watching Selma last year was crying with me and said "dad - we need to make posters that say 'freedom for black people' and go tell our neighbors. John Legend sang 'Glory' in the background. She just wanted to contribute to righteousness and that was her first idea.
So, today was was the second time the girls have gone to a protest with their dad. This was Melody's first trip out.
It's so easy to discredit those who speak up for righteousness by parroting what you hear from politicians (and sometimes preachers). But the truth is that we who want to see change are peaceful. This protest was peaceful. The people today, who inaccurately portray those of us who seek justice as part of a violent group of protesters - if you were alive in the 60's you would have done the same thing then too. That way we don't have to get involved.
They did the same thing to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. They tried to discredit his whole movement by lumping it in with some of the more angry and violent moments of protest (some still do). Popular preachers called him a socialist. Jerry Falwell called it the "civil wrongs" movement. He persevered anyways. As will we - until justice rolls like a river and righteousness like a mighty stream.
It was not media bias that moved me to speak up. It was not partisan politics. It was the longing for justice in the hearts of my daughters."
Zach made his speech outside the office of Gov. Bill Haslam. The demonstration was a call for the removal of the statue which is displayed outside the House and Senate Chambers. Protesters covered the bust with a black jacket over the head of Forrest while shouting, "Tear it down!" Shortly after, the state's governor, Bill Haslam, called for the removal of the bust as well.
Forrest was a Confederate cavalry general and an early leader of the Ku Klux Klan. The statue's location is where the Sons of Confederate Veterans celebrate Forrest's birthday each year. They hold Civil War reenactments and men and women dress up and wave Confederate flags.
Both Forrest and his wife are buried under the statue but the city of Tennessee has said it "wants to move the remains to a cemetery."