Posted: 4:56 pm Monday, February 24th, 2014

Top Republican signs onto bill for MLK monument on Capitol grounds 

By Jim Galloway

Capitol Quiz14

Recognition of Martin Luther King Jr. at the state Capitol is currently limited to an oil portrait. AJC file

Nearly forty-six years after his assassination, the Georgia General Assembly on Monday took the first steps toward putting a monument to Martin Luther King Jr. on the grounds of the state Capitol.

The Republican-controlled House suspended its own rules to give a speedy start to a pair of measures co-sponsored by state Reps. Calvin Smyre of Columbus and Tyrone Brooks of Atlanta.

But the third signature on the legislation – and the most important — belongs to House Majority Leader Larry O’Neal, R-Bonaire. “The only message I want to send is that we need to honor one of the greatest Georgians in the history of this state,” O’Neal said.

His Democratic counterpart, Minority Leader Stacey Abrams of Atlanta, also signed the legislature.

The bill must crash through the House committee system and win a floor vote by next Monday, if it is to be considered eligible for further deliberation in the state Senate.

Despite its Democratic sponsorship, the bill is the fulfillment of a promise made by Gov. Nathan Deal, a Republican, to an Ebenezer Baptist Church congregation on Martin Luther King Jr. Day in January.

“Not many states can boast a native son who has merited a national holiday. But we Georgians can,” Deal said. “That’s why this year working with the General Assembly I’m committed to finding an appropriate way to honor Dr. King on our Capitol Hill.”

Deal told my Insider colleague Greg Bluestein late Monday that he hasn’t seen the legislation yet but that he’s “suitable with whatever the General Assembly comes up with.”

“I’d be supportive of some way of commemorating or recognizing his accomplishments,” said Deal, adding: “Everything has its time and its season. I think now may be the season.”

Brooks, who was a young civil rights worker in 1968 when King was slain, had introduced an earlier bill that would have given a King statue the place on the front steps of the state Capitol long occupied by a memorial to Tom Watson, a U.S. Senator with a reputation sullied by his racially incendiary outbursts.

The Watson statue was quietly moved from the Capitol last year, to accommodate repairs to the front steps of the building. But state officials now say that, for public safety reasons, the area will remain clear.

After the governor made his remarks in January, state lawmakers began deliberating over whether a statue of King was called for, or the placement of his name on a new park on the Capitol’s south side, now under construction.

According to the language in the bill – which has yet to receive a number – the matter has not yet been settled:

“There shall be placed upon the Capitol grounds of the state Capitol building or in another prominent place a statue of the Reverend Martin Luther King Jr., subject to the availability of private funds for such purpose.

“Unless public safety concerns warrant postponement, such monument shall be procured and placed as soon as practicable.”

In an interview, Smyre, the longest-serving member of the House, said he will pair with Joe Wilkinson of Sandy Springs, the Republican chairman of the House Ethics Committee, to raise the necessary cash for the monument – in whatever form it takes. Wilkinson’s signature is on the Legislation, too.

35 comments
MiltonMan
MiltonMan

The libs did not get this done when they were in office????  I guess Roy Barnes was too busy stealing money for the GA 400 toll & drawing up redistricting maps that were shot down by the state SC.

Ficklefan
Ficklefan

This is without question the right thing to do. While there are many who do not agree with this action, as is clear from the posts on these pages, they are by far and away not the majority in Georgia or any where else for that matter. Martin Luther King was a son of Georgia and a world changer. He, like all of the great men who helped to create and move this nation forward, he was not a perfect man, but he left and indelible imprint.


Without question, the non violent civil rights movement that King led was the catalyst, was absolutely instrumental and necessary in convincing fair, just,and honest white Americans that the bed rock principles upon which this nation was founded were being trampled, betrayed, destroyed, and disrespected by segregation and Jim Crow laws, and it was disgraceful for a nation founded upon the ideal that all men are created equal and endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights to allow this to continue. 


King made America look at itself in the mirror, and America looked, and it flinched in shame, and in doing so,  it re-gained its very soul. And because of that, King, a son of Georgia, who changed America for the better, and influenced the world, without raising a rifle or a pistol, or firing a shot, deserves to be memorialized  on the Georgia state capital grounds. 


Having said all of that, and in  the interest of preserving the honor and dignity of such action, and of Dr. King, any legislation passed should make it very clear that if any payments to the King children are required or necessary in order to bestow this well deserved and long past due honor, then the State of Georgia will not proceed until such time as such disgraceful and avaricious demands are rescinded. 

OneRyder
OneRyder

Who does this harm? Get a life people. 

OneRyder
OneRyder

Georgia's native son is one of the most famous person's in American history and many of you don't understand why Georgian's are proud enough to have a statue?  Many of you claim to be Christians, but you do far better defending your faith then you do actually practicing your faith.  Okay, back to your hatred. You must find it enjoyable.

zekeI
zekeI

ENOUGH ALREADY!


The stupidity is ludicrous!!

notagain
notagain

Pigeons need a roost.

May not be Jesus,but could have a King MLK Jr version...

MrFish
MrFish

This statue will not raise the test scores, the income or the status of black people.
But go ahead, waste that money.
OH and I would be against if it was a statue for any white man also. We need to stop wasting money on useless statues, paintings, street name changes, airport name changes.......

Dang people.

TrueBlueDem
TrueBlueDem

Bravo to Tyrone Brooks, a living legend and icon of the Civil Rights movement in his own right. And a sharp stick in the eye of Sally Yates, the evil-hearted Federal persecutor who is trying to score political points for herself by imprisoning poor Tyrone for accounting mistakes. Sally Yates is a sick-minded woman.

PSWallace
PSWallace

If I could wave a magic wand, I would:

1. Use Stone Mountain granite, for the base at least.

2. Leave "Social Realist" styles to D.C.

3. Employ U.S. workers--Georgia ones, actually, Atlanta ones preferably.

4. Point out to the King kids what exactly all the children whose fathers are buried in American military cemetaries (after having died for the advancement of the cause of liberty) got in the way of licensing fees.

5. Put Oglethorpe in place of Watson.

Boxtradamus
Boxtradamus

Aren't there already 10,000 roads named after him and a fed holiday? Good lord,  He is NOT Jesus Christ folks.


Uh...huh. 

notagain
notagain

Now may be the season.We white Christians need suck up some them black votes.But the blacks will know better.

mrob
mrob

“Not many states can boast a native son who has merited a national holiday. But we Georgians can,” Deal said. “That’s why this year working with the General Assembly I’m committed to finding an appropriate way to honor Dr. King on our Capitol Hill.”


Another historic way to honor King is the " King tag". Make it where Georgian can place a license plate with the face of King KIng on it that says " Free at last".

MaryElizabethSings
MaryElizabethSings

"The bill must crash through the House committee system and win a floor vote by next Monday, if it is to be considered eligible for further deliberation in the state Senate.


Despite its Democratic sponsorship, the bill is the fulfillment of a promise made by Gov. Nathan Deal, a Republican, to an Ebenezer Baptist Church congregation on Martin Luther King Jr. Day in January."

===========================================


Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. will forever stand as having been a giant among those who have lived on this planet.  His consciousness was so elevated that he almost singlehandedly changed the course of history in America.  Let the process for the placement of his statue on Georgia's Capitol grounds happen immediately. 


MLK's statue should stand in the same place where previously Tom Watson's statue had stood. Time moves on and human beings become more conscious beings. Dr. King deserves this most prominent place at the entrance to Georgia's Capitol because he gave his life to elevate the moral consciousness of all human beings and to ensure justice for all Americans so that our precious Union might be more perfected.

LookbeforeIleap
LookbeforeIleap

OK.  Wonder how long it will be up before someone hangs a noose and Confederate Flag on it as a "frat prank"?

RichardRadzik
RichardRadzik

There is a beautiful monument in Washington DC, and we have the MLK Center in Atlanta to recognize this great man, so why do we need to spend more money for another memorial?  I think MLK would rather have the money spent in better places for the people who need it most.

CuriousPrime
CuriousPrime

Tom Watson's statue should not have been taken down, and have MLK's statue on the left, just to show why there was a civil rights movement, and to highlight the legacy of social conservative religious bigotry.

AvailableName
AvailableName

"...or in another prominent place[?]"  Don't waffle, put it where the Watson statue was and be done with it.

NWGAL
NWGAL

Is a boring statue really the best way of honoring the man? 

The-Centrist
The-Centrist

What a sorry, bitter old person you are....

Kamchak
Kamchak

This statue will not raise the test scores...


Neither did Mt. Rushmore.

Just sayin'.

The_Centrist
The_Centrist

I wonder if Bernie Madoff used the "accounting mistakes" and "evil-hearted Federal persecutor" claims in his defense.  Didn't work out too well if he did.

Bernie31
Bernie31

@Boxtradamus - You are an AVATAR Thief so why should anyone listen to a POS like YOU!

OneRyder
OneRyder

@Boxtradamus  one road in Atlanta.  How many you count?  LOL. You gotta be Jesus to have a statue?  ....or just white?

The_Centrist
The_Centrist

Have you ever heard the (black) comedian Chris Rock tell you what to do if your car ever breaks down on Martin Luther King Drive in ANY city?

Kamchak
Kamchak

He is NOT Jesus Christ folks.


And who was it exactly, who claimed he was?

Can you provide a quote from someone here who made any such claim?

Just askin'.

Thanks in advance, sport.

VMPurishkevich
VMPurishkevich

@LookbeforeIleap And will our civil libertarians call for the death penalty? 


Compromise deal: statute for King for release of the FBI files now.

GB101
GB101

@LookbeforeIleap  If such a crime is committed it will be treated as a far more serious matter than it really is.  

The_Centrist
The_Centrist

You are a screen name stealing scum bucket.

mar1049
mar1049

@OneRyder @zekeI  Yes J.B. Stoner, Lester Maddox and the current crew of GOP candidates. Take your pick. This would go great with the new auto tag which celebrates the confederate battle flag.

Kamchak
Kamchak

Have you ever heard the (black) comedian Chris Rock tell you what to do if your car ever breaks down on Martin Luther King Drive in ANY city?


Do you often confuse stand-up comedians with AAA?

Just askin'.

GB101
GB101

@SPaulT @The_Centrist  Don't you think the "Rebpubturd" thing is a bit childish? From you picture one would think you are older than 12.  Act like it.