DEKALB COUNTY, GA (CBS46) The fate of a confederate monument in the Decatur Square is still uncertain, but county leaders are taking steps to publicly acknowledge the racism tied to it.
While the law prevents leaders from the removal of the monument, it can be relocated but it has been very difficult to find a new home for it.
For now, Dekalb County Commissioners will be adding this statement on a plaque near it:
"In 1908, this monument was erected at the DeKalb County Courthouse to glorify the 'lost cause' of the Confederacy and the Confederate soldiers who fought for it. It was privately funded by the A. Evans Camp of Confederate Veterans and the Agnes Lee Chapter of the United Daughters of the Confederacy. Located in a prominent public space, its presence bolstered white supremacy and faulty history, suggesting that the cause for the Civil War rested on southern Honor and States Rights rhetoric -- instead of its real catalyst -- American slavery. This monument and similar ones also were created to intimidate African Americans and limit their full participation in social and political life of their communities. It fostered a culture of segregation by implying that public spaces and public memory belonged to Whites. Since State law prohibited local governments from removing Confederate statues, DeKalb County contextualized this monument in 2019. DeKalb County officials and citizens believe that public history can be of service when it challenges us to broaden our sense of boundaries and includes community discussions of the victories and shortcomings of our shared histories."
"That piece of marble ain't nothing to me," said Guitar Red, Resident. "That marble ain't bothering me because if someone going to say something negative about me, they're going to say something whether that's there or not."
Others still want the monument destroyed. "There's no reason to have any of those statues, plaques or anything like that which are an awful reminder of our history. There's no reason to commemorate it," said Muna Claxton.
For now, many are happy that at least the sign will be going up to add context for the community. "After looking at this, I think it does a good job of acknowledging what history is without necessarily honoring that history and what took place. I think this is a positive step," said Dan Dewoskin.
"If the community is being prevented from changing a monument that does not currently reflect the community's views on something that happened in the past then they should absolutely be allowed to provide context," said another resident. "And that's what's happening."