There has been plenty of talk in recent weeks about how best to handle the legacy of the American Confederacy of the Civil War.
We are at another crossroads in the cultural history of our great nation, and our current predicament is not unlike what we experienced during the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960’s. The message is very much the same, and that fact alone seems to indicate that we still have some work to do as a nation whose very ethos is encapsulated in the words “all men are created equal”. The only difference today is the speed in which information travels, making it all the easier for Americans to organize and mobilize.
This is where the history of the Confederacy again comes into focus, as the symbolism of the rebellion has long been used as an expression of hate by white supremacists. Cities around the nation are now removing their monuments and statues depicting the Confederacy in a positive light on account of this, with backhoes and bulldozers often scooping these stone and bronze visages up in the dark of night to prevent crowds from gathering.
When it comes to Stone Mountain, just a few miles east of Atlanta, Georgia, these tools just won’t do the trick. You see, carved into the side of Stone Mountain is an enormous tribute to the leaders of the Confederacy that spans over an acre and a half of space. That, combined with the location’s ties to the Ku Klux Klan, have made the site prime fodder for protesters who participated in a mighty show of force over the 4th of July holiday weekend.
A predominantly Black group of heavily armed protesters marched through Stone Mountain Park near Atlanta on Saturday, calling for removal of the giant Confederate rock carving at the site that civil rights activists consider a monument to racism.
Video footage of the Independence Day rally posted on social media showed scores of demonstrators dressed in black – many in paramilitary-style clothing and all wearing face scarves – quietly parading several abreast down a sidewalk at the park.
Many of the protesters carried rifles, including military-type weapons, and some wore ammunition belts slung over their shoulders. Although African Americans appeared to account for the vast majority of the marchers, protesters of various races, men and women alike, were among the group.
Video of the protests were popping up all over Twitter.
In Stone Mountain, Georgia earlier today pic.twitter.com/F2Autd4YtI
— Naomi (@naomiruta) July 4, 2020
The largest armed Black crowd I’ve ever seen in my life just crossed the front of my house in Stone Mountain. Bigger than any Black Panther engagement I’ve ever encountered #July4th2020 pic.twitter.com/4iH5qx77Ee
— Jollof Rice Brand Ambassador (@_King_Akin) July 4, 2020
There have bene numerous calls to remove the carving on the side of Stone Mountain over the years, but to no avail.
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