ATLANTA, GA – In light of recent protests against systemic racism, and outrage resurfacing about Confederate monuments, State Rep. Shelly Hutchinson (D – Snellville) filed House Bill 1212, to prohibit the display of monuments and other markers related to the Confederate States of America on public property. The bill is cosponsored by Rep. Gregg Kennard, Rep. James Beverly, Rep. Dar’Shun Kendrick, Rep. Kim Schofield, and Rep. Derrick Jackson. Rep. Hutchinson had the following to say regarding House Bill 1212:
“Right now, this nation and this state are experiencing a long overdue demand for racial justice. There have been peaceful protests all across America – including dozens in Georgia – opening many people’s eyes to the injustices that African Americans have experienced at the hands of our own government. At many of these peaceful marches and rallies, advocates of racial equality stand in the shadows of statues glorifying the Confederacy and those who fought for slavery.
These statues are not relics that the General Assembly has forgotten about – there is a statue to a Ku Klux Klan leader right outside the Gold Dome. Just last year, Senate Bill 77 passed into law, providing Confederate monuments with even more protections than they had already. Georgia has done a better job protecting these racist statues than it has protecting the lives of its citizens.
It is unconscionable that 155 years after the Civil War ended, some in our state’s government still cannot decide which side should be glorified. The Confederacy is not some lost cause to be admired and honored. It was a shameful chapter in our history where Georgia took up arms against the United States and defended the ownership of fellow human beings.
The excuse that we need these monuments and statues to “remember history” has worn thin. If the only reason people remember the Civil War is because of grandiose statues, then we clearly need to be allocating more of our budget to education.
Confederate statues are not about history or heritage; they are symbols. Their display on state property symbolizes that we, as the state of Georgia, are willing to glorify the movement that fought for slavery and honor those who committed treason against the United States. While removing them will not erase 400 years of systemic oppression, it will send a message that Georgia no longer glorifies a shameful chapter of our past.
It is time to take them down.”