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DEAR EDITOR:

In an attempt to erase our history, Representatives Renitta Shannon, Derrick Jackson, Sandra Scott, Teri Anulewisc, Mary Margaret Oliver and Shelly Hutchinson have sponsored a bill in the Georgia House of Representatives, House Bill 175, which if enacted would remove all protection for our statues and memorials on public property related to the Confederacy and make it so that acts against them would not be punishable under Georgia law. Additionally, the bill will remove the provisions of current Georgia law that protects the faces on Stone Mountain from ever being removed, altered, concealed or obscured, and OCGA 50-3-1(c) says Stone Mountain “shall be preserved and protected for all time as a tribute to the bravery and heroism of the citizens of this state who suffered and died in their cause.”

Additionally, the bill would remove language that ensures the Confederate flag is not prohibited from being flown on public or private property, including decorative or patriotic purposes, either inside or outside of any residence, store, place of business, public building or school building (which is currently protected in OCGA 50-3-10). To make matters worse, the Georgia Senate has proposed bill SB51 that contains much of the same hate-filled language of HB 175.

Will these ceaseless attacks on our heritage never end? After all the monuments have been removed or destroyed, are our flags, our history books and anything related to the Confederacy to be banned or burned? It isn’t just our Confederate monuments that are being defaced and destroyed; monuments from other wars are under attack, too. All need to be protected by the toughest laws we can pass.

Will we really be better off as a nation if all traces of our Southern history are removed? What kind of person has no respect for our honored dead from all wars? We can learn from the mistakes of the past, and as Georges Santayana once said, “Those who do not remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”

You can help fight these bills by writing or calling your elected representatives and demanding these hateful bills be consigned to the trash heap of history. The representatives for the Rome area are:

Katie Dempsey

245 State Capitol

Atlanta, Georgia 30334

404-463-2248

 

Senator Chuck Hufstetler

121-C State Capitol

Atlanta, Georgia 30334

404-656-0034