Confederate Georgia: Is it Starting to See its End?

Citizens+gather+around+Stone+Mountain+during+the+Black+Lives+Matter+protests.+%28Photo+by+Dean+Hesse%29

Dean_Hesse

Citizens gather around Stone Mountain during the Black Lives Matter protests. (Photo by Dean Hesse)

From the beginning of the year 2020 until now, about 160 Confederate symbols were removed. In Georgia, in three days, two monuments were taken down during the first week of this February, the monument in the Gwinnett County Courthouse and a Confederate obelisk from Decatur Square. Starting from June of last year- the Black Lives Matter protests spiked a louder discussion regarding the symbols’ controversy. Despite the constant vandalism the symbols face, there are still more than 700 Confederate monuments still standing in the United States. The ongoing question is whether the South is going to shed their Confederate pride or condemn their history.

On June 18, 2020, after the city of Decatur’s request was accepted, Judge Clarence Seeliger ordered the removal of a Confederate obelisk, “The Lost Cause,”  which was erected in 1908 by the United Daughters of the Confederacy. Ironically, this monument was taken down in front of a crowd on Juneteenth, or Emancipation Day, the day black slaves in America found out that they no longer were enslaved. This event was overseen by many groups such as the Davis and Hate Free Decatur organizations who were pushing for the removal since 2017. 

Mawuli Davis, the founder of the organization, said, “This is it. This is a victory for this country. This is an example of what can happen when people work together,” after the event. He was joined by many to oversee the result of their hard work.

Luckily, their hard work had an even better ending. This monument removed the construction for it to be replaced with has started at the beginning of this year. The city plans to have a monument honoring the late John Lewis, a civil rights activist, in the place of the Confederate monument. 

Unfortunately, despite the active removal of Georgian Confederate monuments- a large one has already situated its untouchable place in Georgia and even in the nation. Stone Mountain. This 514 meters artificial Civil War monument is the biggest the United States has to offer. Popular for recreation and leisure activities and its fantastic view work well to hide its Confederate past. On one side of the hill has a large carving of three Confederate leaders, Jefferson Davis, Stonewall Jackson, and Robert. E Lee, all three who fought to keep slavery legal. This horrible carving holds the record for being the largest carving in the world.

The state of Georgia purchased Stone Mountain to become a memorial for the Confederacy in 1958. It not only holds the history of the Confederacy- but this large monument is the site of the rebirth of the Ku Klux Klan or the KKK.

More than 100 Confederate symbols in Georgia alone are ranging from monuments, statues, schools, memorials, and even parks still standing. With the on-going drive for the Black Lives Matter movement- protests have been happening in many locations, including Stone Mountain. Confederate Georgia’s hope disappearing and the 100+ symbols ending similarly to ‘The Lost Cause’ is going every day with the active racial movements.