To: Howard Mosby, District 83 Representative, Elena Parent, State Senator, Patti Garrett, Mayor of Decatur, Fred Boykin, Mayor Pro Tem, Scott Drake, District 1 Commissioner, Tony Powers, At Large Commissioner, Brian Smith, District 2 Commis...
Remove City of Decatur's Confederate Memorial
There is no place for hate in Decatur. After the horrendous display of racism, bigotry, and white supremacy in Charlottesville, we, the citizens of Decatur and DeKalb County, want to take a stand against white nationalism by removing one of its symbols, the Lost Cause Confederate Memorial found in our downtown square.
Why is this important?
***** August 16, 2017 UPDATE TO PETITION*****
Since we started this petition on August 14, 2017, we have gotten an incredible response from the Decatur and DeKalb communities, with over 1,200 signatures in less than 24 hours. We have also heard from several city, county, and state leaders. From Decatur officials, we have heard DeKalb County owns and maintains the monument, and thus the City cannot remove it. From DeKalb County officials, we have heard that state law OCGA 50-3-1(b)(2) prohibits the removal of such monuments, and thus the County cannot remove it. From State Representative Howard Mosby and State Senator Elena Parent, we have heard that there is little prospect for amending or repealing this law in the state legislature, and thus there is no foreseeable way for removing the monument.
These responses are not acceptable. The monument can and must be removed.
Why should we remove the confederate monument?
The Confederate monument opposes the values of Decatur and DeKalb citizens. We are a diverse and inclusive community, but this monument reveres white supremacy and the enslavement of African Americans. Children of color look up at this monument daily, seeing a symbol of an ideology that stripped their rights as citizens and dignity as humans. The monument was erected 42 years after the Civil War in order to celebrate the atrocities of the Jim Crow South. It has no place in our square today.
How can we remove the confederate monument?
OCGA 50-3-1(b)(2) allows for “appropriate measures for the preservation, protection, and interpretation of such monuments.” Recent acts against confederate memorials in Piedmont Park and Durham, North Carolina give DeKalb County clear justification to use this “appropriate measures” provision to relocate the Decatur confederate monument. Further, as Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh noted in her statement regarding the removal of confederate statues in Baltimore, these types of monuments are a threat to public safety. We also do not want white supremacists and neo-nazis coming into the City of Decatur inciting violence and harming our diverse citizenry
We demand that DeKalb County take this action immediately.
Original Petition from August 14, 2017:
We the citizens of Decatur and DeKalb County Georgia want the "Lost Cause" Confederate Memorial removed from downtown Decatur Square (behind the historic courthouse). The memorial was erected in 1908 at the height of Jim Crow laws in Georgia. Lynchings were routine in Georgia, occurring at a rate of at least once a month. Two years prior, in 1906, African-Americans were hung from lamp posts during the “Atlanta Race Riot,” which was a riot consisting of white people terrorizing and brutalizing black people. The statue refers to those listed on the monument as a "covenant keeping race" and thus, the statue serves as a shrine to white supremacists like those we saw in Charlottesville. If the City of Decatur and DeKalb County truly value diversity, then both entities will listen to its citizens and fight vigorously for the removal of this monument.
Please sign below so our representatives can see all our signatures. Our community, our city, does not want this tribute to slavery and Jim Crow encroaching on our space. We recognize that this will not be an easy process. After seeing our signatures, we hope that our representatives will get to work on repealing and/or amending O.C.G.A 50-3-1 (b)(2) which prohibits the removal of such monuments. Once that process is complete, cities across the state of Georgia can determine for themselves whether these confederate memorials are appropriate for their public spaces. By signing this petition, you are saying there is no space for hate, racism, white supremacy, and bigotry in the City of Decatur.
** Please feel free to sign even if you do not live in Decatur or DeKalb County because this action requires a change in Georgia law so we want all representatives in the State House and Senate to hear our voices ***