From the front lawn of the State Capitol to the side of Stone Mountain Park, Georgia’s commitment to honoring Confederate generals has been storied. Rep. Shelly Hutchinson, D-Snellville, is trying to change that.
Rep. Hutchinson represents Gwinnett County, one of Georgia’s largest and most diverse. She also represents a continued effort in the General Assembly to remove Confederate monuments from the state. She calls them an insult.
One of her bills would reverse protections that keep the monuments funded and maintained, another bill would ban them from public places.
"You can spin it all you want to about history and all that, but the bottom line is we are glorifying people who fought to keep us in shackles," Hutchinson told CBS46 Capitol Reporter Hayley Mason. "To do that to kids is not offering them the kind of environment that they need to thrive," Hutchinson added.
It’s not just political for Hutchinson, it’s deeply personal.
"When I look in the mirror, I see history. I don’t need to be reminded of it by Confederate monuments," Hutchinson said.
Hutchinson explains her 6th great-grandmother was a victim of rape by the family’s slave master who fathered their family’s lineage.
"I am a result of that," Hutchinson said. "When I look in the mirror, I see what happened to my sixth great grandmother. I wouldn’t look like this. My skin wouldn’t be this color if she hadn’t been raped by her slave master," she added.
Governor Brian Kemp has previously indicated he will not support legislation to remove the odes to the Confederacy this legislative session. Hutchinson says despite the bleak odds she's continuing to try to get her two bills heard in a committee.
"This is the long game. This is not a short-term thing," Hutchinson said. "I suspect that we will be fighting this fight for years, similar to the state flag. They fought the state flag for years and ultimately it was changed. I am in it for the long haul," she added saying she will introduce the legislation year after year until things change.
Rep. Billy Mitchell, D-Stone Mountain, has a similar bill to remove the Confederate monument from Stone Mountain. He has not gained bipartisan support either.