Senate Minority Leader Lee Harris and Senate Democratic Caucus Chairman Jeff Yarbro spoke out against a Senate bill that makes it harder to remove monuments to Nathan Bedford Forrest and the Confederacy.
During Wednesday's floor session, Sen. Jeff Yarbro, D-Nashville, said the Senate's action came one day after U.S. Sen. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell rebuked Trump after the Republican didn't immediately distance himself from an endorsement from David Duke.
"The Ku Klux Klan, I mean I think we have to remember this is part of our history," Yarbro said, pointing out that the organization's first meeting was held three miles from the Capitol.
Yarbro noted that there are more markers for Forrest than for all three U.S. presidents from Tennessee, adding that the statues and memorials for Forrest were erected in the 1920s, which he said was the high point for the Ku Klux Klan, and the 1960s.
"I fear that what we do here sort of tries to freeze history as it was told at a point in time instead of actually letting this process develop in a way that would lead to the betterment of the state," he said.
Sen. Lee Harris, D-Memphis, said his issue with the bill is that it will put a handicap on growing communities.
"Communities will change over time, and these set of protocols will not fit as these communities change," he said.