Editorial

The City of Rome recently removed a statue of Confederate General Nathan Bedford Forrest from a prominent place at Myrtle Hill Cemetery. In light of social issues that have swept the nation in recent months, the statue — and others like it — have become points of contention.

They have become a physical thing which continue to breed division.

We believe the statue’s removal from Myrtle Hill Cemetery was the right decision by the city. We recognize, more than most, the importance of preserving history and of educating the community. The city is not trying to “erase” history with this statue’s removal.

The decision to move ahead was one of a community government which values its entire constituency rather than the voices of discontent that can often be heard the loudest.

Many of these statues were erected during the Jim Crow era and are a tangible reminder of the oppression and systematic racism of the time. Unfortunately we believe that at the time they were erected, that was the intention of many — to illustrate for all to see, the idea of “better than” and “less than.”

The history behind this particular statue, and others like it, does not exist in stone. It exists in our collective consciousness. So if history is what you truly would like to preserve, that can be found in our libraries, our schools, our museums and our cultural centers. If history and its preservation is what TRULY concerns you, then there are many avenues through which to educate yourself and your children about our past.

We only hope that those who are passionately defending these statues are doing so for the right reason.

Regardless, the decision to remove the statue until it can be placed in a location dedicated to our area’s Civil War history was a sound one. It is our history and that hasn’t changed, now it will be relocated to a more appropriate place.

In the news this week...unfortunately

Setting out for this week’s editorial, we had no intention of addressing our Congressional representative.

The original intent was to talk about our hopes and ideas for the 130 acres of state-owned prime real estate located in our city — the former Northwest Georgia Regional Hospital property.

We’d prefer to be talking about local matters, but something has to be said.

For now let’s ignore the fact that we reported Rep. Marjorie Greene’s inflammatory posts after they were unearthed by news outlets like Politico, prior to the July GOP primary. Let’s ignore the fact that she won all counties in this district — with the exception of Floyd County.

At this point, as much as she wants to blame the media and Democrats, she needs to go ahead and own up. This isn’t “fake news” and it isn’t some kind of false narrative drummed up by her political enemies.

She’s the one who went out of her way to video herself harassing school shooting survivors as well as continually promoting wild, outlandish and false conspiracy theories.

Nobody else did that to her. She did it to herself.

We’ve tried to encourage our representative in Congress to be a voice for all of the 14th District’s constituents. That plea has so far gone unheard.

Unfortunately, Greene has become a household name now.

Regardless of your political party affiliation: When the speaker, who leads the majority party in the House of Representatives, calls out a freshman representative in the minority party for “appalling” behavior, that’s bad news for our district.

Here’s the problem.

That essentially means we not only lack representation in Congress but the district is now being vilified by association.

There have been calls for her to be expelled from Congress, which isn’t likely.

While Congress can expel a member with a two-thirds vote it’s not likely and, even so, the Supreme Court may not approve the expulsion because many of the posts were made prior to her election.

We’re essentially stuck without representation over the next two years. Our veterans need help with the VA, our disabled and elderly need help with Social Security, our children need help getting into service academies.

Here’s a primer on how Congress works.

There is no shared power. The majority party controls committee chairs, who have great influence on what gets accomplished in Congress.

The reason there is so much infighting and very little cooperation is this — one party is in and the other is out. At this point the Democrats hold razor-thin margins in the Senate and the House, and because of that, they have control.

A member of the minority party can huff and puff and introduce as many bills as they wish — but those bills go nowhere if they can’t get the votes.

It’s vital for a new member of Congress to gain the respect of the other members within their own party. They must learn to build a consensus within their own party in order to be effective.

Better yet, learn how to work with the other party as well, in order to bring an end to this bipartisan gridlock.

Our member of Congress needs to be in Washington, D.C., to make sure we’re represented in the national conversation and make sure services are still provided to the 14th District.

It’s very likely the 14th District will get nothing from Congress over the next two years.

And that’s unfortunate.

Thank you for reading.

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