Should a towering monument of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. be erected on Stone Mountain, Georgia where the KKK once famously gathered for huge cross burnings and racist rants?
My gut instinct says no.
Black civil rights leaders are joining the Sons of Confederate Veterans to oppose a plan to construct a memorial for King on Stone Mountain, which has long been associated with racism, overt discrimination, the support of the Confederacy and outward push-back against African Americans who have moved into the area.
The Atlanta and DeKalb County branches of the NAACP and the national office of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference want to block the plan because the site continues to idolize the Confederacy – and continues to symbolize the support for slavery during the Civil War.
According to the Atlanta Constitution, Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal and the Stone Mountain Memorial Association approved a plan to build King’s monument near the spot where the Ku Klux Klan once burned huge crosses, and just beyond the famous giant carving of three Confederate heroes: Robert E. Lee, Jefferson Davis and Stonewall Jackson. The plan also includes a permanent exhibit of Black soldiers in the Civil War.
“The proposal to include Dr. King [on Stone Mountain] is simply to confuse Black folk about the issues. It’s an attempt to gain support from Blacks to keep these racist and demeaning symbols,” John Evans, president of the DeKalb County branch of the NAACP, to the Atlanta Journal Constitution.
Civil Rights leaders met privately with the governor to express their opposition to the plan and to press for the removal of the Confederate heroes engraved on Stone Mountain.
Racial attitudes still permeate the area around Stone Mountain, Georgia. This summer, a high school principal came under fire for comments she made at the end of the school’s graduation ceremony that many in the audience found to be racially insensitive.
Nancy Gordeuk, the principal and founder of TNT Academy in Stone Mountain, Georgia, has apologized, but that hasn’t quieted the controversy.
At the graduation ceremony, Gordeuk accidentally skipped the valedictorian’s speech, and when the crowd started to leave the church where the ceremony was being held, she tried to regain their attention.
“Y’all are the rudest people I’ve ever seen not to listen to this speech,” she said.
Video of the event shows the crowd appearing to grow increasingly disgruntled, and as people continue to leave Gordeuk raises her voice.
“Look who’s leaving,” she says. “All the Black people.”
Gordeuk’s remarks angered the audience, many describing it as a racist outburst.
Dr. King’s Legacy Is Not Honored By Adding Him To Racist Monument was originally published on blackamericaweb.com