Cruz mentioned four germane facts about Forrest, three of which make him a particularly inappropriate individual to honor:
1). He was a Confederate officer, which in itself carries no unique opprobrium.
2). He was not simply a slave owner, he was a wealthy slave trader which even in the antebellum South was considered sleazy.
3). He was a founder of the Ku Klux Klan. It’s true almost all Klan members were Democrats and poor, not surprisingly since the vast majority of Southerners were poor by the end of the war. But Forrest himself was a wealthy man through the slave trade.
4). He was a delegate to the 1868 Democratic Convention. The Democratic Party was the party of slavery and the motto of that convention was "This is a White Man's Country, Let White Men Rule". The eventual nominee was Horatio Seymour one of whose goals was to suppress Reconstruction by warning against ""a semi-barbarous race of blacks who are worshipers of fetishes and poligamists" …………. So there’s that.
My point being that Senator Cruz’s comments are entirely accurate and justified. The only Confederate officer I can think of who would be a less appropriate honoree would be Capt. Henry Wirz of Andersonville prison......................................Luca