Georgia removed 2 Confederate statues in 1 week as cities continue to reckon with racist pasts

Bre'Anna Grant
·3 min read
BLM George Floyd statue .JPG
An image of George Floyd is projected on the statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee in Richmond, Virginia, on June 20, 2020. REUTERS/Jay Paul

Two Confederate statues were removed from two Georgia towns over the course of three days last week as cities across the US continue to reckon with how to handle controversial historical sites.

A Confederate monument outside the Gwinnett County Courthouse in Lawrenceville, Georgia, was removed on February 4, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.

The Gwinnett County Board of Commissioners approved the 28-year-old statue being moved to storage on January 19 after it was vandalized during protests in June 2020.

Gwinnett County Solicitor-General Brian Whiteside filed a lawsuit against Gwinnett County seeking a court order to declare the monument a public nuisance.

City officials said in a news release the location of the monument creates a "public safety concern" and "may result in additional acts of vandalism and create a public safety concern for the City of Lawrenceville and Gwinnett County."

"While we're respectful of the ongoing court proceedings, we feel that action is needed now to move the monument where it will not be a target for vandals," said Chairwoman Nicole Hendrickson in a statement. "A monument celebrating the Confederacy on county property is inconsistent with the message of welcome and inclusion that the County is sending to the world. We should place it in storage to avoid further provocation and to help the cause of tranquility for the benefit of all."

Three days later and nearly 100 miles across the state, a second monument was relocated from downtown Dalton. A statue of Confederate General Joseph E. Johnston was moved on Saturday to the historic Huff House in Dalton, Georgia.

City of Dalton spokesman Bruce Frazier told Insider the statue is owned by the United Daughters of the Confederacy and was placed downtown in 1912.

Georgia's WSB-TV reported that new proposals have continued calls on state officials to remove Confederate statues from public locations.

Anti-racism protests took the national stage last year after police officers in Minneapolis, Minnesota, killed 46-year-old George Floyd on May 25. Since then, confederate statues have been a flashpoint for cities across the American South as activists and community members have called for authorities to remove monuments tied to racism against Black Americans.

Many sites were targeted with vandalism by protesters throughout last year, and some advocates have sought for the monuments to not only be removed, but also replaced with memorials to iconic Black Americans.

In Decatur, the city is replacing a controversial monument with one that honors the late John Lewis, who spent most of his career fighting for civil rights, FOX 5 Atlanta previously reported.

Read the original article on Insider