Confederate Monument Celebrated By Ku Klux Klan Will Not Be Removed Despite Outcry
Despite outcry from activists across the country, a huge Confederate monument known for its associated with the Klu Klux Klan in Georgia will not be removed.
The Confederate flag, which represents the fight of southern states that sought to defend slavery during the American Civil War, came under even further fire last year, with the Pentagon prohibiting it from flying over US military locations and some states banning the sale of the flag.
However, some Americans feel a certain loyalty to the heritage the flag represents, no matter how problematic it is; so much so, a massive monument in Stone Mountain Park will remain unchanged despite public objection.
As part of plans to modernise the park, Confederate flags once flown at the base of the mountain will be moved to a more discreet location in a bid to further, more accurately explore the atrocities of the Civil War.
However, despite acknowledgment of the KKK’s role in its creation and seemingly wanting to make a positive move, the monument of Jefferson Davis, Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson carved into the mountain will stay. As The New York Times wrote, it’s the ‘Confederate equivalent to Mount Rushmore.’
Bill Stephens, chief executive of the Stone Mountain Memorial Association, told the publication: ‘Some people are going to say they’re not going far enough. Others are going to say they’re going too far. All I know is, it’s important to tell the whole story. There’s plenty to be said, that most people don’t know.’
Sheffield Hale, president and chief executive of the Atlanta History Centre, said the debate around the monument lies at the core of political conflict in the state. Georgia is traditionally recognised as a conservative state, having long voted Republican, but it was one of the crucial wins for Joe Biden in the presidential election.
Coming during a ‘period of political flux’, Hale said: ‘We’re at a point where the state is teetering on going one way or the other politically.’
Martin K. O’Toole, a spokesperson for the Georgia division of the Sons of Confederate Veterans, said its history could draw reinvestment, as well as arguing the monument ‘memorialises the people who served the Confederacy… You can admire people like Robert E. Lee and not be in favor of segregation.’
However, Hale said: ‘They have the wrong people on the mountain… This mountain is about massive resistance to desegregation. It’s not about the Civil War.’
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CreditsThe New York Times
The New York Times