ATLANTA — Local civil rights leaders implored Gov. Nathan Deal not to move forward with plans to hoist a memorial of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. on Stone Mountain.
The presidents of the Atlanta and NAACP chapters and the head of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) met with the Governor at the Georgia state house in order to halt plans to put a memorial of the legendary civil rights leader in proximity to the Confederate heroes.
The group asked for the meeting after officials of the Stone Mountain Memorial Association wants to put a replica of the liberty bell atop Stone Mountain and call it the “Freedom Bell”.
The plan is to include the words from Dr. King’s “I Have a Dream” speech – “Let Freedom Ring from Stone Mountain of Georgia”.
“They were traitors. They were treasonous,” said Richard Rose, President of the Atlanta Chapter of the NAACP, told the media in a press conference after the meeting. “They tried to overthrow this government, No, we will never, ever agree to any aspect of Dr. King going to Stone Mountain among the confederacy for once and for all should be buried in history in a museum.”
“The goal has always been to end the confederacy,” said Charles Steele, National President of the SCLC “To end the symbols which perpetuate hate and violent acts against innocent African American men and women all over this nation.”
Not surprisingly, this is the only time civil rights leaders and the Sons of Confederate Veterans are in agreement: they also vehemently oppose the building of any tribute to Dr. King to Stone Mountain, but for very different reasons.
The Sons of Confederate Veterans issued a statement blasted the proposal for the Freedom Bell and called it “akin to the state flying a Confederate battle flag atop the King Center in Atlanta against the wishes of King supporters. Both would be altogether inappropriate and disrespectful acts, repugnant to Christian people.”