Georgia governor expects lawmakers to plunge into Civil War debate next year

Gov. Nathan Deal. BOB ANDRES / BANDRES@AJC.COM

Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal said he’s leaving it up to lawmakers next year to decide how to handle the growing debate about the more than 100 Civil War monuments scattered across the state.

While the Republican has already ruled out changes to Stone Mountain, the towering paean to the Confederate war dead, he said he’s going to “wait and see what the Legislature decides” on how to handle monuments, memorials and street signs.

“I think they will do a pretty in depth look into whether or not we should continue to restrict local jurisdictions – counties and cities – in terms of what they may want to consider in their areas,” he told our AJC colleague Rhonda Cook. “It’s an issue I’m sure is going to be before the General Assembly in January.”

He’s referring to a compromise struck during the debate to remove the Rebel emblem from the Georgia flag that makes it illegal for anyone to “deface, defile, abuse contemptuously, relocate, remove, conceal or obscure” any Confederate memorial without authority.

It’s the law that would thwart the call by state Rep. Stacey Abrams, a Democratic candidate for governor, to sandblast the carving of Confederate leaders from Stone Mountain. It’s also the statute that would have to be changed if communities were allowed to determine what monuments remain on their ground, as state Rep. Stacey Evans, another Democratic candidate for governor, has advocated.

Deal wouldn’t say where he stood on the debate.

“There are many facets of it,” said the governor. “The one that’s got the most attention lately has been the prohibition on local governments being able to make independent decisions about monuments and flags within their jurisdictions. I think they will give it a serious look.”

More: Deal to consider appointing black members to white Stone Mountain board

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Reader Comments 0

88 comments
Lenard Westberry
Lenard Westberry

The only cotton the blacks picked. Is out of a pill bottle

Lenard Westberry
Lenard Westberry

People don't realize history made us realize how far we've come in life Read people please a mind is a bad thing to waste!!!

Gale Lyons
Gale Lyons

More wasted tax money deliberating nothing.

Richard Crowder
Richard Crowder

If any bill gets through next year I hope Governor Deal veto's it as quickly as he did the religious freedom bill last year. Don't steel our history that we can pass down to our younger generation.

Ralph Smith
Ralph Smith

Lol your racist comments only prove no matter how you guise it Mattlock Dubay that. You aswell are a racist just on the other side of the coin Oh yeah since your ob said other side of the coin you can't. Be racist even though you vial remarks make is as obvious. As the drivin snow is white that its so. Sad hypocrites. In this world

Eddy Wade
Eddy Wade

LEAVE OUR HISTORY LIKE IT IS

Keneth Hall
Keneth Hall

Yea it took all kinds now why are they all these little groups?????,,,&,&

Nathaniel Garrison
Nathaniel Garrison

Leave history alone says the people whom have plagiarized and rewritten world history. Stfu!

Sandra Bowring
Sandra Bowring

I think he should stand up for our statues. These to protect them was made for this reason

Lisa Suddeth
Lisa Suddeth

Nathan Deal hasn't done one good thing for GA so I don't expect him to start now.

Lisa Suddeth
Lisa Suddeth

Robert L. Hunnicutt III I'm no snowflake thank you.

Russell Sudderth
Russell Sudderth

Mattlock can you tell me how many Nazis fought in the Civil War

Tia Towerytrocchio
Tia Towerytrocchio

Obviously people care more about stone or cloth than they do our fellow citizens!!If it hurts or offends our African American people get rid of it

Susan Martindale
Susan Martindale

There are more important things to worry about in this state. Like: rapist, murders, robbers, drug dealers etc.....grow up people. Get a job or do your job and if you have kids teach then to be respectful law abiding citizens. Stop teaching them to think all white people are racist. Because it is not true. If you don't like the history of this state or country, pack your belongings and go live in another country.

Chris Wright
Chris Wright

I love how we are discussing the Civil War in 2017 like it is something of scientific theory instead of fact. I wish more people would care about universal healthcare and the general well being of their American peers than granite statues. It'a almost as if people have made idols out of them.

Cobbian
Cobbian

We need to recognize that how we "honor" our history affects how we live today.  Those statues and memorials to Confederate dead "heroes" are offensive to people who had no power to speak up and be heard back when they were erected. They are used today by those who would perpetuate racism just as they were used to inflame passions that led to Jim Crow laws and segregation.  We can never "resurrect" the Confederate Battle Flag to represent bravery - it is now a sign of oppression, hatred, bigotry.  


We need to tell all of the history of those times of slavery and war. We need to tell of men and women bought and sold, children sold away from their families, wives separated from husbands.  We need to tell of chains and beatings, and of the later hangings and terrorizing of people because of their skin color.  We need to tell of Jim Crow laws, segregation, and those who fought to bring Civil Rights to those so long denied equal protection under the law.


We need to own up to our bad past and make sure we accept the fact that our ancestors fought to preserve slavery, the right of one man to own another and to treat him/her no better than an animal.   This includes my own ancestors, who were also good men in so many ways but who were just flat out wrong and "heroes" for the wrong cause.  We need to stop lying and admit we were wrong to make "heroes" of those who refused to take the step of ending slavery when they could and who rebelled against the lawful government of the United States.  


When all we honor is a distortion of what is really heroic, we get a distorted view of what we should honor and respect.  We can't even recognize racism when we keep living it.

my_two_cents
my_two_cents

@Cobbian 

That still does not justify this kind of violence and destruction.

Of course, all stories should be told. Especially since a lot of hate-filled, stereotyping propaganda existed during those times denouncing either side of the conflict. It is important to find out what was really going on. Why did a political dispute escalate to such a terrible war? So, if your ancestors were involved, they should also be allowed to tell their story. There were about 6 million white Southerners. About 10 to 25 percent (by 1860, depending on the statistics used) of them owned slaves. What motivated all the others to support the war and fight for the South? Why did your ancestors participate? What reasons did they have? How did they feel about everything that was happening? (this is rhetorical, no need to be answered here)

19th century Western civilization and its views and politics, was still dominated by white, Christian (religious background) men who considered themselves superior to everyone else. Not only in the Southern states. It wasn’t until the late 19th and early 20th century (WWI and WWII) that this idea was challenged and the concept of equality was getting a chance to replace it.

 

my_two_cents
my_two_cents

To deface and destroy monuments, especially at cemeteries that commemorate men and women who gave their lives, is disgraceful – to say the least. It should not matter which side they fought on. They still made that ultimate sacrifice. This is something that should at least be respected. And, by the way, many African Americans and quite a few women also served as soldiers in the Confederate Army. But I guess that has no meaning to those (ult-left) groups either.

It is necessary to find better ways in coming to terms with this challenging past. Not to erase, but to keep alive: in a sensible and respectful way, for everyone to experience and to learn. And hopefully to finally understand one another.

To remain ignorant of things that happened before you were born, is to remain a child.“ Cicero

It is very disturbing to see how those extremist groups from either side are trying to push their agendas by (successfully) influencing how this important historic event is told. It cannot be left up to them. It has to stop and left up to those who have a genuine interest in it, who know how to present that war in its context, and how to include both sides by using a sensible approach to the history of the Civil War.

This violence and destruction perpetrated by either one of those extremist groups should not be tolerated and be spoken up against - by everyone.

“If all human beings understood history, they might cease making the same stupid mistakes over and over.” Isaac Asimov

Nancy Leverett Fondren
Nancy Leverett Fondren

It should be left up to the people that pay taxes.....put it to a vote.... legislative people can't be trusted....they have already made enough wrong choices for us.....they don't represent all the people

David Freedom
David Freedom

Georgia Republicans Stand strong together ‼️ Stay White Republicans in the next Election. Vote ‼️everybody please , Or we will Lose Heorgia , and like Atlanta ( used ) to be , we will never get her. Ack‼️ These are Communist here

Roy Abbott
Roy Abbott

Don't any of you so called men, have the courage to stand up and leave history alone? Why don't you let the people decide, not you politicians, who can't seem to say no to the blacks and others!.......bev

wuxepufimo
wuxepufimo

my roomate's mom makes 81 an hour at home. she has been without a job for six months but last month her income was 16133 just working at home four hours a day.. see this page

www.profitjobs01.com

Cathy Mclaurin
Cathy Mclaurin

Why? You have already decided. NUT, but you aren't the end on this matter.

George Hitt
George Hitt

Past a law saying this is our history hands off similar to what Alabama did. Stand up for out history and do not become Cowards being scared of Statues

Jim Elders
Jim Elders

These people who want to rewrite history and remove historical monuments are just begging to be visited in the middle of the night by men carrying ropes with nooses. They are already writing down names.

Alexander Independent
Alexander Independent

We should celebrate our history and heritage, but unlike Trump who celebrates those who fought to protect and expand slavery, we ought to celebrate the history of freedom fighters like Harriet Tubman, Ida B. Wells and Martin Luther King, Jr. on our own soil, as well as those who fought the rise of Hitler in Germany, those who led the resistance to Nazi aggression and occupation in France, Greece, Yugoslavia and elsewhere.

Tom Alfred
Tom Alfred

When the allied powers occupied Germany after World War II, they prohibited the display of 'any monument, memorial, poster, statue, edifice, street or highway name marker, emblem, tablet or insignia which tends to support militarism or to commemorate the Nazi party.' Could some of the lessons from Germany apply to the US today, in confronting historical racism, slavery and human bondage?

Donald Anderson
Donald Anderson

Leave Stone Mountain as is. If you don't like it then don't go to the park. There are places in Georgia I don't like or agree with. I simply do not visit.

Bob Andrews
Bob Andrews

Governor Deal should NOT be trusted on the issue. The Monuments must not be touched.

Marcia Suits Dennis
Marcia Suits Dennis

Everybody knows that obummer and soros was behind that riot in Virginia they were paid to do that and the one that drove the car that killed that woman was sent by kilary so you tell who's the racist here and how about the other night in Arizona when our president was on his way there to make a speech and yall were there and caused trouble and soft killed a guy and he was on yall side and killed a woman so who is the racist here too yall are the troublemakers but of course according to yall it's us just like everything our president says or does its wrong same with us there's no pleasing yall no matter what yall are the nazi and everyone of yall are on drugs or just plain stupid and crazy and we know it's all because of obummer and sorry soros they pay yall lot of money and send yall to the rally and tell yall to kill us and cause hell

Marcia Suits Dennis
Marcia Suits Dennis

No honey I'm just fine and dandy I hope the mental hospital will take you in and maybe they can help you

Marcia Suits Dennis
Marcia Suits Dennis

You know the statues has been there for about a hundred years nobody ever ever said they were racist or thought even about moving them of you don't like it then don't drive 500 Iles just to go to look at it then stay out our state there's nothing racist about it never heard nothing about yall wanting to destroy it if yall do then we can do the same on artic l king and obummer statue and his library we will destroy it too if yall destroy ours then we will destroy yall too

Vicki Worsham
Vicki Worsham

people are being played yet again and yet are still as blind as can be

Jimmy Knight
Jimmy Knight

I'd say we need a man for our governor's office ,to STOP imposing more burdens on the state's tax paying people.