Sandblasting the Confederate faces off Stone Mountain? Yeah, right.

Stone Mountain

From left to right: Jeff Davis, Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson carved into the side of Stone Mountain. AJC file

It would take a monster of a sandblaster, and raise some highly uncomfortable questions about the selective editing of history, but the Atlanta chapter of the NAACP has called for the removal of the giant carving that depicts three leaders of the Confederate States of America on Stone Mountain.

“It is time for Georgia and other Southern states to end the glorification of slavery and white supremacy paid for and maintained with the taxes of all its citizens,” reads the chapter’s release. “NAACP Atlanta chapter is calling for the immediate removal of all Confederate Memorial Monuments maintained by the state of Georgia using taxpayer money.”

Your daily jolt on politics from the AJC's Political insider blogExtra research would have paid off here. The Stone Mountain Memorial Association, which operates the park, is self-supporting. Nonetheless, the discussion was bound to take this turn as Georgia wrestles with its Confederate legacy after the shooting deaths of nine black worshippers in Charleston by a suspected white supremacist.

The NAACP chapter’s Richard Rose told WSB-TV that he knows it’s a losing battle, but disappearing the Confederacy remains on his wish list:

Rose said his group wants Confederate symbols removed from all state-owned buildings, parks and lands.  Rose [said] he would start with Jefferson Davis, Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson.
 
“Those guys need to go. They can be sand-blasted off, or somebody could carefully remove a slab of that and auction it off to the highest bidder,” Rose said.

It is not a universal opinion. Here’s what U.S. Rep. Hank Johnson, in whose 4th District the mountain sits, told V-103:

“Should we blast those images off Stone Mountain? How far do we go? Stone Mountain is a Confederate area, heritage area, I guess you would call it. And but it is a public park that all of us go to, and I guess we have to all keep it in perspective.

“So I’m not so much affected by Stone Mountain Park as I am by the flag flying at an official government building like a state capitol or even the federal Capitol, a position, the seat of government. I view Stone Mountain as more of a museum-type archaeological place of remembrance for those who want to remember back then and they have a right to remember back then and the park is there.

“So I think the park is not the same as the state capitol or an office building where official business is being taken care of. Stone Mountain is like a park, and sure it’s a Confederate park, and so I respect it being there.”

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And here’s WSB’s video on the epic sand-blasting quest:



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Not many voters are expected to participate, but today is Election Day in many parts of Georgia – mostly to fill vacancies for public offices that have occurred in the last few weeks and months.

That includes special elections and runoffs for six state House seats. The office of Secretary of State Brian Kemp will add two buttons to the home page of its website for easy browsing this evening, divided as follows:

kempscreenshot2

To keep track of local races, you’ll need to find links to county election offices. Here’s one for DeKalb, where the District 5 county commission seat is at stake.

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Brookhaven police say the Sunday burglary of the headquarters of House District 80 candidate Catherine Bernard was unrelated to her campaign activities. Another likely sign of low voter turnout today. Bernard is one of three Republicans running to replace Mike Jacobs in that GOP-leaning district. The others are former Brookhaven mayor J. Max Davis and attorney Loren Collins.

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In that same race, former Democratic candidate for governor Jason Carter has waded in on behalf of — shocker — Taylor Bennett, the only Democrat:

From Carter’s op-ed in the Brookhaven Post:

As a former Georgia Tech quarterback, Taylor knows what leadership and teamwork require. As an attorney, Taylor has done the hard work it takes to achieve justice. And as an active member of his community, Taylor has already proven he is the right kind of person to bring people together to tackle the challenges we face in educating all of our children, in building our economy responsibly, and in pursuing equality for each and every Georgian.

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We now have the LaVista Hills Alliance, a campaign committee to push through the creation of that new city in DeKalb County via a Nov. 3 referendum.

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The U.S. House could vote this week to extend federal highway funding until mid-December, another in a series of highway trust fund punts.

The bill, which you can read here, beefs up IRS tax enforcement to come up with the roughly $8 billion needed to fund highway construction and other projects through Dec. 18.

As The Hill reports, House conservatives are itching to go first, so the Senate won’t jam them by attaching an extension of the Export-Import Bank to the bill:

[Majority Leader Kevin] McCarthy is hoping to pass the highway bill with a “big suspension vote, so big that it would jam the Senate,” said Rep. John Fleming (R-La.), one of the Freedom Caucus co-founders who attended the meeting in the leader’s office. “Because if the Senate originates the bill, it could have the Ex-Im Bank.

“It’s all about Ex-Im Bank — how do we avoid getting a vote on the Ex-Im Bank?”

 


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