It would take a monster of a sandblaster, and raise some highly uncomfortable questions about the selective editing of history, but the Atlanta chapter of the NAACP has called for the removal of the giant carving that depicts three leaders of the Confederate States of America on Stone Mountain.
“It is time for Georgia and other Southern states to end the glorification of slavery and white supremacy paid for and maintained with the taxes of all its citizens,” reads the chapter’s release. “NAACP Atlanta chapter is calling for the immediate removal of all Confederate Memorial Monuments maintained by the state of Georgia using taxpayer money.”
Extra research would have paid off here. The Stone Mountain Memorial Association, which operates the park, is self-supporting. Nonetheless, the discussion was bound to take this turn as Georgia wrestles with its Confederate legacy after the shooting deaths of nine black worshippers in Charleston by a suspected white supremacist.
The NAACP chapter’s Richard Rose told WSB-TV that he knows it’s a losing battle, but disappearing the Confederacy remains on his wish list:
Rose said his group wants Confederate symbols removed from all state-owned buildings, parks and lands. Rose [said] he would start with Jefferson Davis, Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson.
“Those guys need to go. They can be sand-blasted off, or somebody could carefully remove a slab of that and auction it off to the highest bidder,” Rose said.
It is not a universal opinion. Here’s what U.S. Rep. Hank Johnson, in whose 4th District the mountain sits, told V-103:
“Should we blast those images off Stone Mountain? How far do we go? Stone Mountain is a Confederate area, heritage area, I guess you would call it. And but it is a public park that all of us go to, and I guess we have to all keep it in perspective.
“So I’m not so much affected by Stone Mountain Park as I am by the flag flying at an official government building like a state capitol or even the federal Capitol, a position, the seat of government. I view Stone Mountain as more of a museum-type archaeological place of remembrance for those who want to remember back then and they have a right to remember back then and the park is there.
“So I think the park is not the same as the state capitol or an office building where official business is being taken care of. Stone Mountain is like a park, and sure it’s a Confederate park, and so I respect it being there.”
I think Rep Hank will fold