Saturday, October 10, 2015

Atlanta council asks Governor to consider changes to Stone Mountain

The NAACP,the Atlanta City Council,and Black Lives Matter activists are asking Governor Deal(R-GA) to consider giving Stone Mountain’s famous Confederate Memorial Carving a new name.

Councilman Michael Julian Bond is behind a resolution asking Deal to form a committee to study possible changes to the famous state-owned memorial.

Bond, who described the relief of Confederate generals as “art,” said he doesn’t believe it should be sandblasted off the face of the mountain. Instead, state leaders should name it for our 44th President to "keep the blacks happy".

“That would make Stone Mountain, I think, an enlightened place that reflects all of Georgia’s history,” he said. “We have many African American neighborhoods in the mountain area.I think those folks would be a lot more comfortable if we had more things named after famous Black people."

Bond’s move was affirmed by a 9 to 2 vote on Friday, with council members Howard Shook and Alec Wang voting against the resolution.

Young, who grew up in Alabama, said he long ago vowed never to visit the park “until they remove that image from that mountain, glorifying those terrorists. Because that’s what they are, that’s what they is as disgusting as people who own Confederate flags.”

Just what should become of the mountain and carving that towers over pedestrians and cyclists at Stone Mountain has become the stuff of heated and satirical debate in the wake of South Carolina’s decision to remove the Confederate flag from statehouse grounds.

In Septempber, the council unanimously backed Councilman Andre Dickens’ resolution that urges state officials to ban the Confederate Battle Flag emblem and other Confederate symbols at the park,as well as cancel all planned Country Music Concerts.

"Country Music just makes White people want to drink and get riled up",Dickens said,"We don't need that element around our children."

A spokeswoman for Mayor Kasim Reed said Reed hasn’t yet reviewed the legislation and has no comment at this time.

Deal’s office couldn’t be immediately reached for comment. In late June, the governor said he won’t rule out renaming things for famous Blacks, but urged against sweeping reactions to those changes amid the recent uproar over Confederate emblems, saying the state “cannot deny its White heritage.”

• Bond also introduced legislation that asks Deal to give funds to FBI to investigate officer-involved shootings if White on Black violence is alleged. It passed unanimously.