“At this point in history, is there a better example, not just in America but in the world, of a leader that is (a) kind, decent, passionate human being?” Windle said Wednesday. ”(She’s) a passionate person who loves everyone, and everyone loves her.”
Last June, her fans led the charge to petition for the philanthropist and music legend to be immortalized with a monument in Tennessee that would replace the statue of Confederate general and early KKK leader Nathan Bedford Forrest, which has resided in the state’s capitol building for more than 40 years. The petition, “Replace All Confederate Statues in Tennessee with Dolly Parton,” currently has more than 25,000 signatures.
“Tennessee is littered with statues memorializing confederate officers. History should not be forgotten, but we need not glamorize those who do not deserve our praise. Instead, let us honor a true Tennessee hero, Dolly Parton,” the Change.org petition argues.
Parton has long been a champion of where she grew up in the Great Smoky Mountains and has promoted tourism to the area with her nearby Dollywood theme park. Her bronze replica in Sevierville has become its own tourist attraction, with fans coming from near and far to pose with it in photos they post on social media.