Posted: 9:00 am Saturday, January 18th, 2014

Republicans consider a more prominent MLK presence at state Capitol 

By Jim Galloway

Capitol Quiz14

An oil portrait of Martin Luther King Jr. was brought to the state Capitol in 1974, by then-Gov. Jimmy Carter. AJC file

The idea hasn’t progressed far enough for anyone to put his or her name to it in public, but Republicans in the state Capitol are deep into discussions over whether to take a highly symbolic step toward diversifying their party in a rapidly changing state: Giving Martin Luther King Jr. a more prominent place of honor on the Capitol grounds.

One thought is a statue. Legislation to that end has already been introduced by state Rep. Tyrone Brooks, D-Atlanta, and could be recast as a GOP-led effort.

Another possibility: Putting King’s name on a new park adjacent to the Capitol that will soon be under construction. There would be some poetic justice in this – the park is intended as the designated area for protests that now clog the building’s front steps.

Forty-five years after the assassination of the civil rights leader and Nobel Peace prize recipient, King’s physical presence at the Capitol is limited to an oil portrait, flanked by a biographical display.

While going bigger might seem innocuous to many, Republican recognition of King would be a significant move for a party that came to power in 2002, in part, on the strength of protest votes over the removal of the Confederate battle emblem from the state flag.

It would also amount to a symbolic – and highly public — admission that Georgia’s voter demographics are rapidly changing, and that GOP outreach to minorities is essential to the party’s long-term future.

Last year, at the state GOP convention in Athens, Gov. Nathan Deal warned an overwhelming pale audience that 56 percent of Georgia public school students are nonwhite. “If we do not recognize that, and if we don’t reach out to them, then shame on us,” he said.

On Monday, the governor will be speaking from the pulpit of Ebenezer Baptist Church, where King served as pastor. Deal is running for re-election, and is guaranteed a well-financed Democratic opponent in November. In fact, state Sen. Jason Carter, D-Decatur, will be in the audience.

Should Deal give a mention to the GOP deliberations over an enhanced King presence at the Capitol, underway in both the House and Senate, it would only be appropriate. The governor himself sparked the discussions – perhaps unintentionally — with his decision last year to remove a statue of Tom Watson from the Capitol’s entrance. Watson was a U.S. senator famous for his bigoted diatribes in the early 20th century.

But even if Deal does raise the topic, it’s unlikely to be his only talking point aimed at African-American voters. Look for the governor to discuss his efforts at reducing the number of non-violent criminals warehoused in Georgia prisons, and giving inmates more job training to increase the chances they don’t return.

DeKalb County is the state’s largest source of black voters. Next week, it’s possible that the DeKalb school system will escape the probation levied by its accrediting agency. That will permit the governor to argue that his intervention – which resulted in the removal of a majority of school board members – was a boon to the community.

While Deal may be practicing what he preached in Athens last year, changing the demographic footprint of the GOP is no easy task. A King memorial at the Capitol would be an important step, but it can’t be the last. It takes practice.

On Thursday, Deal paid a formal visit to the Georgia Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, which represents another demographic Republicans must penetrate to survive. The governor complimented the group on its attitude toward education.

“In many communities, there are very few parents who will actively participate in school organizations. My experience has been that, in the Hispanic community, that is quite the opposite,” he said.

The governor didn’t mention – couldn’t mention — the harsh dialogue that has surrounded past Capitol debates over illegal immigration. Neither did House Speaker David Ralston, who also attended.

But Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed was sandwiched in between the two state officials. He raised the topic for them. “I look forward to being part of a state with a changing tide, that understands immigrants aren’t people who need to be bashed or criticized,” Reed said.

The mayor didn’t intend his remarks to be a lesson in how to speak to minorities. But that’s what it was.

75 comments
NWGAL
NWGAL

Heaven help us if all citizens voted.

What a democracy we might have.

The_Centrist
The_Centrist

This will NOT be a blog item here this week, but just one reason why OTP Counties have run from corrupt MARTA:

"To stanch losses in recent years, MARTA cut transit service and jobs. All the while, it preserved some pension benefits that allowed many employees to pile up richer retirements than most workers can hope to get. One of the most lucrative benefits was available only to some employees."  (Source - AJC)

hobbit57
hobbit57

Wow.  I just have to wonder how any person of color reading these posts would ever want to vote Republican.  You folks are digging your own demographic grave and are too dense to even realize you are doing it.  Enjoy your slide into irrelevance, you royally deserve it.

MaryElizabethSings
MaryElizabethSings

Do you feel lifted from having read the posts on this thread or pulled down?


I think Martin Luther King's spirit and vision would have lifted others.  So, in honor of him, I will post three of his quotes which were published in "Parade Magazine," distributed in today's AJC.


Martin Luther King, Jr.:


"Forgiveness is not an occasional act; it is a permanent attitude."


"We must accept finite disappointment, but never lose infinite hope."


"Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that.  Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that."

DebbieDoRight
DebbieDoRight

I see the all white clown brigade is out in full white sheeted disdain at the thought of someone other than Stonewall Jackson or the Dukes Of Hazzard being honored in a southern state! 

I'll leave you guys to it -- no need to read yet another AJC blog riddled with racist rants by the southern bottom feeders who love to expound on the virtues of "independence" and "pride" while they take every Federal dollar they can and then receive the most aid they can from their fellow americans  from the northern states. 

Jeesh!   Secede already!!!

The_Centrist
The_Centrist

I read elsewhere in a non-Democratic party news outlet that last night's GOP debate didn't have any fireworks.  I missed it since I have been in the tropics since Christmas with several more weeks to go.

The article said all the candidates agreed on the big issues, especially reducing spending and replacing Obamacare - not subjects the Democratic party aligned AJC or most of its posters would agree.

Armydawg
Armydawg

Would you refer to an audience at Ebenezer Baptist Church as "overwhelmingly dark?"  Your double standard, racist tactics are on display.  

CanBee
CanBee

Unseal and release all the FBI files regarding MLK!!! Make these files public!!! Then determine if all the glory, praise, and justification satisfies placing a stature on the grounds at the State Capital.

Nope, want happen, just like the sealed files on Obama !!!

If it wasn't for the fact that Al Capone's files are public, his stature would be prominent in the parks of Chicago. Same for Jimmy Hoffa!

Courtney2
Courtney2

I like the statue idea, but in return the street should go back to Hunter Street.  Atlanta spends way too much time and money renaming streets after black people.  It destroys history and is a very silly. 

atlbrotha
atlbrotha

The King chirruns will lay claim to the statue on state capital grounds and will charge admission and royalties. With them it is all about the money, honey. Absolute nonsense here. We don't need any more King memorials. Overkill. Put the statute across the street next to the good ol' boy - and by no means name something else after him. Totally ridiculous.

Adamsran
Adamsran

MLK JR - is arguably the greatest influence to come out of Georgia.  He changed the world through non-violence.  There should have been a statue there 0 years ago when the Democrats dominated the state.


You do it for the right reasons.  Not for political ones.  That smple.

Informer
Informer

Lets continue to use black this, and white this, in everything we do, and TV, and schools, etc..Break it down by race. That's how this Galloway clown makes his living.  That will ensure that racism continues forever. Apparently that's what people want.

The_Centrist
The_Centrist

From above:  "The governor complimented the group on its attitude toward education. 'In many communities, there are very few parents who will actively participate in school organizations. My experience has been that, in the Hispanic community, that is quite the opposite.' "

This is in reference to different ethnic cultural attitudes and leadership.  Hispanics not only have ethnic pride, but value eduction, have a strong work ethic, ambition, and do not wallow in self pity victimhood.  They as a group will pull themselves out of poverty instead of relying on governments to provide generational subsistence.


Maybe someday we will have a holiday for Cinco de Mayo - or even Cinco de Mayo week.


intune
intune

Funny, for those who think this a bad idea, you should think back when your momas and daddies had no time for you after you were born, and turned and forced Blacks to raised your sorry assres, cleaning up behind your filthy butts. And when Blacks stood up and said enough. Now you are upset about it, and don't know how to fen for yourselves. Shut up.  

The_Centrist
The_Centrist

For Republicans to attract more black voters, more blacks will need to rise into and or above the middle class.  Republicans can not out pander the poor vote.

Democrats and journalists seem to think that legal voting Hispanics have a solid kinship with ILLEGAL Hispanics.  That is simply not true.  The Hispanic voting pattern is also based on economic status and as they rise into the middle class and above, so will their increased Republican votes.

Ficklefan
Ficklefan

Wow. Lots of vitriol in this thread today. But yes, there is but one reason,  and only one reason, to put MLK's statue in place of Watson's statue on the Capitol grounds. It should be placed  there because King, a son of Georgia, was a great American and a great leader who risked his life, and finally gave it,  leading a movement that was clearly just in its message and purpose, and which forced good Americans to take a very realistic and hard look at itself, and made its good people realize that it was way past time for America's most important and basic creed and self evident truths, into place for all Americans: That all men are created equal; That all men have been endowed by their Creator with the unalienable rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness; That this is a government of laws and not of men, and nothing less than equal justice under the law was acceptable on American soil, north, south, east, or west. 


If Republicans have any other motives than those stated above (e.g. political pay back or gaining favor from black Georgians), they should just forget it now and move on.  But, just like equal justice under law for all Americans finally came, the day for  the placement of that statue will come too, regardless of what they do or don't do. So, just like any individual or any organization faced with the opportunity of doing the right thing, they should take that opportunity, which will be reward enough in and of itself. 


Caveat: One thing  should be brought up early in this process. Will Georgia have to pay the King children to use and display their father's likeness on the Capitol grounds?  Or would they waive their usual licensing fees in view of such an honor being bestowed upon their father? (It is unfortunate that a great American leader has been reduced to a marketable and cash producing commodity by his children, but in this case, the sins of the children should not be visited upon their long departed  father). They have not been prone to waive their fees for anyone.  


As clearly advocated above, the statue should be placed on the Capitol grounds, all politics aside. But, Georgians should not have to pay the King children for the right to do that. Hopefully, the children will also see an opportunity to do the right thing, and take it as reward enough in and of itself.  

Calel
Calel

Putting up an MLK statue at the Capitol will do nothing for Republicans in the eyes of blacks and other minorities. Look, GOP, the ONLY way those traditional Democrat voters will like you is if you become one of them. They're not interested in a statue here or a key black face here--LISTEN to them! They want you to expand Medicaid; grant and support preferential treatment based on race FOR blacks, not any other group; expand social spending for the poor; they want the goverent to take care of ANY aspect of their lives that affect them financially. These are all part of the Democrat platform. So unless you want to BECOME a Democrat and support these things, stand up and explain and defend what you believe in. What you'll find is there are tons of blacks and minorities who are fed up with government dependency and social spending. You'll also find a ton of blacks and minorities who QUIETLY support parts of your platform like school choice, gun rights, lower taxes, so-called gay rights, and abortion. Find yourself a good spokesman to express these ideas, and you will quietly see the Democrat stronghold on the black community loosen up a bit.

Remember, Democrats NEED the majority of the black vote to win, Republicans don't. They only need a small portion of it. Explain your positions, it will work. The only reason so many minorities vote the way they do is they don't understand the big picture of that vote.

mrob
mrob

Correction..........They (GOP) are not interested in the minority voters and if they were, the party would have already been diversified and laws would have reflected that and minority men and women [white women as well] wouldn't be fighting for their rights to be citizens of this great nation.

mrob
mrob

The GOP have embraced and to this very day, the republicans continue to carry this confederate flag and the attitude that attached with it at the table were laws are drawn and written to divide this state for evil intentions. They (GOP) are not interested in the minority voters and if they were, the party would have already been diversified and laws would have reflected that and women wouldn't be fighting for their rights to be citizens of this great nation.


How dare any suggestion of a GOP making change to attract minority voters. A party of old white men that serve as the law makers to tip the scale of justice to benefit the major insurance companies, drug companies, major corporations, our dying and loaded with disease grocery stores, and their selected friends and cronies? C'mon man!!!!!


What have the GOP done for the middle class and poor Americans in the last 60 years?

NOTHING!

These clowns sit and drink good liquor in private setting and take money from large corporations and old church going senior citizens at $2500.00 a plate to tell lies and divide this country for their own personal gain.

Take a look at the utilities we have among the cable giants here in Georgia---perhaps three companies offering service with high franchise fees and the GOP control the negotiations of the contracts and the service to which is offered.

Take a look at the the "REAL DEAL" and what the GOP has done to our public education system meanwhile, their sons and daughter are enrolled in private school---they played with it until they have nearly destroyed it and the rural school districts of Georgia that are heavy Republican voters are treated second class as the same as the metro supported Republicans voters. So therefore, the poor and middle class Republicans are treated the same as it relates to the lack of quality for a progressive public school education much like the Democrats and the Independent, respectfully. 

More importantly,The Republican party for 12 years have systematically destroyed Georgia Public Education System by draining funds from it source and meanwhile knowingly that the surrounding school districts communities have a high growing, and a unbearable high percentage of economically disadvantage students and parents depending on the need of quality education to compete for future jobs and advance opportunities likewise as the private school students are instructed to pursuit.

I'll take the statue of King any day than a crooked and not for the people Republican.

Bernie31
Bernie31

Dr Martin Luther.King, Jr. if he were able to communicate to Georgia Legislators would certainly prefer for the Georgia Legislators to expand Medicaid in Georgia in his HONOR and Name for The NEEDY & POOR. than to see any STATUE or PORTRAIT of himself on the WALLS or GROUNDS of the Georgia State Capital.

SELAH.....


Amen...and AMEN

CherokeeCounty
CherokeeCounty

Amen.  I always cringe a little when I see a blog post that allows comments, relating to race.  You KNOW that it's going to attract all the racists who just can't stand the fact that one of Those People is now in the White House.

And they just can't understand why minorities wouldn't vote for Republicans, after they've spent years telling them they're leaches, and working best they can to deny them the right to vote.

CherokeeCounty
CherokeeCounty

Wow, fake centrist, thanks!

Without your perceptive analysis, I wouldn't have thought that Dems were opposed to ending food stamps for poor kids, and ending unemployment insurance for struggling families who can't find work, or repealing the health care law so that insurance companies can go back to discriminating against us.

Brilliant, as always....

Calel
Calel

Did you ever think that maybe those files are sealed because they may not want you to see what the FBI is capable of doing? Just a thought.....

GB101
GB101

@intune My White parents did raise me and did not force blacks to do anything.  Quite the contrary, like most other White people they paid taxes to feed ,cloth, house, and provide medical care for black children.

Bernie31
Bernie31

@intunelol...rofl.. I thought I was the only one that felt that way here....

DeborahinAthens
DeborahinAthens

What planet do you live on? My grandfather was a sharecropper. My moma and daddy worked their butts off to raise four kids who are all well educated, and blessed to be in the upper classes. No black people raised us! What a joke. Where on earth do you get such an idea?

I guess you believe my ancestors had slaves! LOL!

BuckheadBoy
BuckheadBoy

@The_Centrist  " Republicans can not out pander the poor vote."


Obviously you haven't noticed that behind the thin rank of plutocratic and opportunistic tribunes stands a legion of right trash tricked into service through fear that what little they have is in jeopardy to the defenseless who have nothing.

CherokeeCounty
CherokeeCounty

I doubt it.  Hispanics and blacks know that Republicans have done everything possible to limit their ability to vote.  I would guess that the fake centrist  also would be  unlikely to vote for a group who had worked so hard to disenfranchise him.

Secretagent81
Secretagent81

@FicklefanYes, I was going to make the same comment.  I agree with the idea, but only if the King family waives licensing for the likeness and any future use of the name associated with the park or likeness (for these purposes, not in general).

AuntieChrist
AuntieChrist

@Calel"The only reason so many minorities vote the way they do is they don't understand the big picture of that vote."  or, as most of calel's repubs colleagues would put it:


Yeah dem darkies jes' need to let to ol' massa, esplain to dem how good dey has it wit the rich white man in charge. Wit jes a little esplaining, dey'll unnerstand that dese confederate flag wavin', unreconstructed rednecks really have dey best interests at heart. Maybe ol' massa can even esplain why he wants dey vote, yet he gwine put up evry obsticle he can to keep dem from votin.

mrob
mrob

@CalelWhat Republicans need is a bible, $2500.00 a plate, a room sold out with ole white male and female seniors citizens, scare tactics such as, a criminal black man and a terrorist Arab story to tell, a good conversation of laughter to break the ice about welfare and gay rights, and how to use their monthly social security benefit check  to  invest in investments accounts.


Now did I get that right?


Yes, there blacks within the GOP and they are few in between. However, the Republican party as the last time I check is still far behind in meeting their goal to attract minority voters because they can't.


Preferential treatment??? What is that? A GOP national slogan to divide?? Is that's the best you can do???

The great USA is 13% minority in its population....OK, where is the preferential treatment?

The majority of whites are on food stamps in this country and you talking about the GOP and entitlements to the minority? 

Apparently, you are a clone of an ill-advised product that was manufactured under deeply prejudice emotions. 


It obvious, Fox News and it's staff have left you hanging and unsupported on this one.

Wrong article, my friend.

spike79
spike79

@BuckheadBoy @The_Centrist  Wow, Buckhead, I guess we're all supposed to be impressed by your vocabulary?  Maybe you should also learn to proof read.......

GB101
GB101

@CherokeeCounty What nonsense.  You may not be aware of this but in the 2010 election in Ga the turnout among black voters was higher than it was among white voters.  What have the Republicans done that you believe suppresses black and Hispanic voters?   Except for the phony claim that voter ID laws are designed for this purpose, I challenge you to cite a single example.

BocaBaby
BocaBaby

@CherokeeCounty And we will continue to do everything possible to limit the ability of those not qualified to vote.  If you are not a citizen you do not have the right to vote.  This is not being disenfrancised since they are not being kept from something which is rightfully theirs.  You want to let them vote because the Dems know that these votes count for them.  Leave it to the Democrats to break the law or, in the case of our president, completely ignore it altogether. 

atlbrotha
atlbrotha

Do you really think that is going to happen, given their history?. His family has dollar signs in their eyes. They always have. And even if today they agree to what you mention, what makes you think they will decide in a few years they are not making enough money and come after the state then? Money is really important to them. 

spike79
spike79

 

@mrob @Calel @mrob  " a criminal black man and a terrorist Arab story to tell".  Yeah THOSE are hard to find, arent they?  

And the US is 36% minority; of which 13% are black.  About 63% are white.Nearly 40% who get food stamps are black.Nearly 39% who get food stamps are white.So based on the population, 3 times as many blacks get food stamps than whites.MAybe you should read more instead of worrying about Fox News.

Calel
Calel

Blacks tend to support politicians who promise to either free stuff like health care, free pre-K for all, social programs, and, although created by a black Republican, Affirmative Action. My friend, I know the truth hurts, I can feel the pain in your post. But look at the issues that are key to black voters and you'll find a trend. For instance, right now, any politician wanting the black vote had better be FOR the Affordable Care Act, AGAINST cuts to programs like SNAP (food stamps), and FOR an increase in the minimum wage. Don't get mad at me, I didn't make it this way. If you don't believe me, listen to Al Sharpton and the rest of the MSNBC crew. They all know what blacks want (at least the ones who vote D), and they push that agenda.

The-Centrist
The-Centrist

"grant and support preferential treatment based on race FOR blacks"

Yeah that's the way to win folks over - tell them that they're leaches... it worked so well for you in 2012...

I still think Governor Deal is correct in his efforts, but when people like this make up the base of the Republican party, his efforts are doomed to failure.

The-Centrist
The-Centrist

'proof read'

Ahh sometimes the jokes just write themselves, don't they....

CherokeeCounty
CherokeeCounty

And in the real world after trying desperately to find all these illegal folks voting, Republicans have found five or six examples ffrom all over the country.

Stop and think, if you can tear  yourself away from Fox News for awhile.  If you're here illegally, making money to send home to Tijuana, are you really going to be stupid enough to risk prison by voting illegally?

Not in a million years.

Nope, the voter restrictions are solely about making it harder for black and hispanic citizens to vote.  Republicans know theire ideas are toxic - the only way they can win is by cheating.

Calel
Calel

@The-Centrist 


Jesus taught for the INDIVIDUAL to be charitable, not the government. If we want to use the government for enforcement of Jesus' teachings, let me know when we're able to outlaw abortion and criminally punish cheating spouses! 

The-Centrist
The-Centrist

The answer to your question SHOULD be evangelical Christians - if they take seriously the teachings of Jesus Christ.

mrob
mrob

@spike79

I guess 79 is your age or perhaps the number of brain cells you have left. Either way, you are a clone of an ill-advised product that was manufactured under deeply prejudice emotions.  

Got Milk?

Calel
Calel

When you start talking about cutting these social programs, there's one group that will stand up and protest against that. If a politician proposes massive cuts to a social spending program (or an Affirmative Action program), let's take a guess as to which traditional voting block will be marching first (there may be multiple choices):

A) evangelical Christians

B) women

C) gays

D) tea party

E) blacks

I'm not trying to be nasty, but there's got to be something in the Democrat platform that makes blacks toss ther support to them. Could it be that over 90% of voting blacks are for gay marriage? Support gun control laws? Support unfettered abortion rights? Support amnesty for illegal aliens?

Or, do you think that the white liberal has been successful in scaring blacks away from the Republicans? I find it hard to believe that blacks could be so manipulated to believe that the big bad white man is coming to get them every election cycle.

Calel
Calel

Bull crap! Most Americans, regardless of race, don't even vote! I bet you if you asked most voting blacks if they think it's a good idea for a person to have to show a government-issued ID before they vote, the vast majority of them would say yes! We already have voter ID in Georgia, and blacks still vote. The left has created this boogeyman to come and scare blacks every election cycle. If you dot vote, or if you vote for Republicans, they'll turn the hoses on you; they'll put y'all back in chains! Well, we've had two "good ol' boy" Republican governors, both former Democrats, since 2000. And I have yet to see anyone being sprayed with water hoses or walking on a MARTA train shackled with a white master guiding their steps. So, we can try this again and another way: what about the Democrat platform makes blacks vote in that direction usually to the tune of 90%?

The-Centrist
The-Centrist

Easy.  There are lots of blacks alive who remember how hard they fought to get the right to vote.  Now, they see one party working their tail off to take that vote away again.  And you don't understand why they might not vote Republican?

Calel
Calel

Ok, let me try this another way. Why do YOU think blacks vote for Democrats? I'm not asking why they don't vote for Republicans.

mrob
mrob

@Calel  

Got milk???

NWGAL
NWGAL

Racist racist racist. You should be ashamed of yourself.

GB101
GB101

@The-Centrist Huge numbers of blacks are leeches.  And criminals.  Read the news.  

Trackbacks

  1. […] back to the Georgia Capitol.  This should not be a partisan issue that we have to be “deep into discussions” about.  To turn a phrase, “Republican, Democrats, Georgians. lend me your ear,” […]

  2. […] on Monday to honor Martin Luther King Jr. by putting his name on the statehouse grounds, in both a move wrapped in political symbolism and a nod toward the state’s changing […]