Stone Mountain, Georgia Next History Erasure
Stone Mountain, Georgia Next History Erasure
Well, you know, it’s not like there is nothing else going on in this country. We have midterm elections in less than two weeks. Amanda wrote about them and you can read her here. Apparently, clock boy has been sending packages to prominent Democrats. You can read Nina here. And, we have got the invading army headed through Mexico. You can read my take on that here. Since there is nothing else going on, let’s talk about erasing history. This time we’re talking about the carving of Confederate Generals and the President of the Confederate States of America on Stone Mountain in Georgia.
Khushbu Shah has an article regarding Stone Mountain in the Guardian.com. It opens:
The Lasershow Spectacular (™) is a celebration of brand America. Its huge 3D video projection (“taller than the Statue of Liberty!”) pulls out all the stops – depicting patriotic icons from bald eagles to Mickey Mouse to towering letters spelling U-S-A, with lots of fiery explosions and a rousing musical score with at least eight separate key changes. The official website boasts that “the Lasershow is now so spectacular, the FAA must be consulted to ensure airplanes don’t become blinded by lasers.”
I wouldn’t get all hepped up about the laser show. Cat lasers could blind pilots. The Good Lord knows that something dastardly is happening with towering letters, fiery explosions and a “rousing musical score with at least eight separate key changes.” I smell condescension. This kind of snooty booty opening made me want to know a little more about the author Khushbu Shaw. Formerly a producer with CNN, written for Teen Vogue (ugh) and Yahoo. At least we know her point of view, right?
Her article in the Guardian is quite long and covers the history of Stone Mountain:
The scale of the monument, which was only finished in 1972, probably can’t be fully appreciated until it is seen firsthand. It’s by far the biggest memorial to the Confederacy, and at 158ft tall is the largest stone carving of its kind in the world.
It was also started by the Ku Klux Klan. The owner of the land was a Klansman, as was the original sculptor (who also created Mount Rushmore). And it sits inside Stone Mountain state park, just east of downtown Atlanta, only a few miles from the birthplace of Martin Luther King.
King himself included Stone Mountain in his most famous speech, I Have a Dream. It was 1963, at the height of the KKK’s re-emergence, and just as the final design for Stone Mountain’s sculpture (transposition fixed from the original) was being approved.
Shah does quote people from both sides of the argument. She covers Pro and Con arguments. And, I kinda am on this fence about this. Monuments should not be built to conquered peoples, in my humble opinion. Look across the world and see how many statues are built to conquered leaders. Am I right? But, since they are already there, do not cover them up, remove or destroy them. What great teaching tools these monuments could be. Most of them are beautifully rendered. Stone Mountain is butt ugly, in my humble opinion. When I lived in Atlanta, I had absolutely zero desire to see it. I might move the laser show and all that razzmatazz they have going on with it to a more, Sweet Jesus forgive me for using this word, “inclusive” location.
Which brings us to:
Stacey Abrams is the Democrat candidate for Governor of Georgia. She is quoted in this article as wanting the Stone Mountain monument removed.
Stacey Abrams, the Democratic candidate in Georgia, who is running in a hotly contested race to try to shift the long-time red state blue – and become the nation’s first black female governor in the process – has previously criticised the monument.
After the Charlottesville violence at the Unite the Right rally last August, Abrams condemned the carving in a series of tweets.
“Confederate monuments belong in museums where we can study and reflect on that terrible history, not in places of honor across our state,” she wrote. “[T]he visible image of Stone Mountain’s edifice remains a blight on our state and should be removed.”
And, Stacey’s naturally proud mother took to the radio and bragged on her girl:
So there you have it folks. Midterm elections coming up. I know y’all have a lot on your minds and there is some seriously weird stuff go on in our Nation. But, we cannot erase our history. We especially cannot erase the uncomfortable and ugly history. Stone Mountain is just the most recent target. This Guardian article is a timely reminder.
Feature photo credit of Stone Mountain, Georgia: Pixabay Paulbr75