Stone Mountain: A Confederate Memorial or a “Celebration of Racism?”

Movements to remove, destroy or conceal Civil War era monuments have been sweeping the nation as of late, and have become a source of great civil unrest spurning sometimes physical altercaitons over statues and other monuments that have stood for  decades against skylines and in the centers of cities all across the U.S. On
August fifteenth, however, these issues took root in Georgia over the Stone Mountain Memorial. Georgia politician Stacey Abrams (D) has called for the removal of the memorial stating that it is a “blight on our state” and a “celebration of racism, terror and division.” Many in Georgia, however, oppose this sentiment, stating that it is illegal to remove the memorial, given that it was protected by the same law that allowed for the modifications to be made to the state flag according to Governor Nathan Deal. Groups such as the Georgia Division of the Sons of Confederate Veterans have also come forward in protest of the removal of the monument. Their concerns lay in the preservation of Georgia’s history, not an idealized version of it. There is also the matter of cost. It will cost millions of dollars to demolish the memorial at Stone Mountain, and  Abrams does not yet have a plan that would allow for the funding of such an arduous project, though she suggested that perhaps crowd sourcing could pay for it.  The future of this memorial is still unclear, and this uncertainty stimulates discussion about what the future of these and other monuments of such a controversial era in U.S. History might be. For me, there is no right or wrong answer to this question, as everyone is entitled to their opinion, though I would rather handle matter democratically by having city officials in areas that are experiencing civil unrest due to these monuments cast a vote that would determine whether or not it would be removed. Not everyone would be happy with this situation, of course, and it could very easily lead to more altercations between the affected citizens, but we Americans pride take pride in our democracy, so perhaps we should employ its use now in order to protect life, liberty and the greater good of this Nation.

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