Lawmaker seeks ‘systematic’ review of Georgia’s historic monuments

Former DeKalb CEO Vernon Jones. Kent D. Johnson, kdjohnson@ajc.com

Georgia would create a new commission to conduct a “bipartisan, systematic and transparent study” of the state’s historic monuments under legislation to be introduced by a DeKalb Democrat spurred by the deadly violence in Charlottesville, Va.

State Rep. Vernon Jones said the panel would hold statewide hearings and then make recommendations about monument placement and the possibility of adding new statues. The review could include the more than 100 Confederate monuments scattered across the state.

“Hysteria and knee jerk reactions are not the solution. Sensitive subjects such as this deserve calm, practical and open dialogue,” said Jones, a former DeKalb chief executive. “A house divided cannot stand, and Georgians must show the nation that we can unite for the greater good.”

Jones’ legislation likely faces a tough audience in the Republican-controlled Legislature, and Gov. Nathan Deal has suggested he has little appetite to revisit debates about the Civil War-era monuments. The violence triggered by white supremacists in Virginia has ignited a new debate on the Rebel symbols, including new calls to remove the giant carvings of Confederate leaders from Stone Mountain.

More: Georgia governor to consider adding diversity on Stone Mountain’s board


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