The city of Kennesaw will take up a resolution this evening asking the state Legislature to reconsider a state law that prohibits local governments in Georgia from removing or relocating the Confederate memorials in their midst.
Yvette Daniel, an Army veteran and former law enforcement officer, said Friday the flag that flies in a downtown Kennesaw park is divisive and should be taken down.
At her request, the City Council will discuss a resolution Monday asking the state Legislature to revisit a law prohibiting cities from removing military memorials, which would give council members the authority to decide whether the Confederate banner should remain on display at the city’s Commemorative Park.
Similar discussions are occurring elsewhere. On Saturday night, about 75 people in Decatur gathered to discuss the removal of the “Lost Cause” monument in the city’s square.
But it is Kennesaw that bears close watching. Located at the edge of Kennesaw Mountain battlefield park, the city in past decades has scratched a living from its role in the Civil War, when it was a railroad stop known as Big Shanty. (Kennesaw is also the city that requires the head of every household to own a gun – unless he or she doesn’t want to. Which was another publicity-generating endeavor.)
All of this has changed as Kennesaw has become a part of the larger metro Atlanta mix. City officials now quietly grouse about Dent “Wildman” Meyers’ store on the main thoroughfare, which sells not just Civil War memorabilia, but racist material, too.
The flying of a Confederate flag in a public park brings the issue into the open in a very Southern way. Again, from the MDJ:
“No business wants to come into the city and sit next to something like that,” [Daniel] said. “Take a look at all the businesses that have passed on coming to our downtown because of it.”
A rally at the flag pole begins at 6 p.m. today, followed by a city council meeting at 6:30 p.m.
Over the weekend, Gov. Nathan Deal says he hadn’t realized that each of the 10 members of the Stone Mountain Memorial Association board was white, and said “we’d certainly be open” to tapping an African-American leader to serve on the panel. We’re surprised that the governor is surprised. The lack of diversity is well-known in DeKalb County and has been a well-worn topic of discussion elsewhere in the state Capitol.
U.S. Rep. Doug Collins, R-Gainesville, dropped by AJC headquarters last week. Topics of discussion included his bill to encourage rural Internet service. But Collins also told us of an economic barometer we hadn’t heard before. A north Georgia restaurateur had told the congressman that he would know the good times had returned when he had to clean the mud off his establishment’s doormat. That’s a sign that construction workers have enough spare cash to spring for a store-bought lunch.
We caught up with Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed at the soft opening of the Mercedes-Benz Stadium over the weekend. He tapped the mayor for his thoughts on the already-divisive Democratic primary for governor. His answer, in short, was the sharp-elbowed contest will only help toughen up the candidates. Said Reed: “I think tough campaigns are healthy. You’ve got to be able to get out here, mix it up, have good days and bad days. And wake up the next day and get right back at it. If you don’t have that capacity, you won’t be much of a leader anyways.”
Kennesaw State University has launched its first “ethical hacker” class, according to WABE (90.1FM). The 16-week program is a recognition of the growing need for “white hats” to defend against criminal computer invaders.
The Senate Judiciary Committee could hold a confirmation hearing for Tripp Self to be U.S. District Court judge for Georgia’s Macon-based district as soon as next month, the Macon Telegraph reports. President Donald Trump tapped the Georgia Court of Appeals judge for the position last month.
Politico has a dispatch about former House Speaker Newt Gingrich’s formal training to be an “invisible” spouse as his wife Callista waits to be confirmed as the U.S. ambassador to the Vatican. Our favorite tidbit: Gingrich marveled over the fact that ambassadors are required to have two refrigerators: “One for personal food, one for entertaining, so you’re not eating out of the taxpayer refrigerator.”