Confederate monument debate heats up in DeKalb County

(Source: WGCL)

One by one, opponents of the confederate monument in downtown Decatur sounded off to DeKalb County commissioners on Tuesday.

“As a woman of color with my brown children walking through that square every week, it brings me great shame to see that monument that calls white supremacists a covenant keeping race,” a protester said.

“Taking down monuments is a good thing, but helping the black community on the road to equality is better,” another protestor said.

“We no longer want to pay any of our taxes to help maintain something that stands for hate,” another protestor said.

Opponents presented county leaders with a petition containing more than 2,600 signatures demanding the monument be removed and placed in a museum.

“As Dr. Martin Luther King said, the time is right to do what’s right,” a protestor said.

“Well we’re not going to vote because there is nothing to vote on. What we are going to do is meet and talk with the CEO about how to deal with this,” DeKalb County Commission Chair Kathie Gannon said.

So CBS46 asked DeKalb County CEO Michael Thurmond if the monument should be taken down.

“Well that’s a decision this government will make as we go forward. It will be presented to the commission with a recommendation from myself, but there is some discussion that needs to take place,” Thurmond said.

The monument currently stands on the property belonging to the County History Center just outside the museum. Where it will go from here is still uncertain.

“I think to get justice and truth, we need to get rid of something that stands for the history of white supremacy,” a protestor said.

“I think it presents a unique opportunity for us to create a broader, more holistic narrative as it relates to our history and heritage in the south,” Thurmond said.

DeKalb County officials did not put a timeline on resolving the issue and the CEO has yet to provide a recommendation. Thurmond said he would like to talk with both sides in order to make an informed decision.

Copyright 2017 WGCL-TV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.


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