This weekend, a bunch of white people decided to rally at Stone Mountain, Georgia, to defend their heritage, which, according to them, includes the Confederate flag as well as a carving that celebrates Civil War soldiers–which was completed as a big ‘screw-you’ to those who opposed segregation (boldface mine):
Noe said there are strong historical connections between Stone Mountain and white supremacists, segregationists and neo-Confederates.
“For 40 years, it had these pretty obvious Klan overtones,” he said.
The mountain’s former owner, Samuel Venable, took an active role in reviving the Klan, which re-established itself in 1915 with a cross-burning on Stone Mountain’s peak. Within five years, the Klan had an estimated 5 million supporters nationwide and was a formidable terror organization for decades.
The iconic carving was conceived around the same time, with sculptor Gutzon Borglum’s original design featuring Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee leading his troops and KKK members. Borglum was fired from the job and another sculptor hired, but by 1928 only Lee’s head was finished.
The project remained shelved until the 1950s, when interest picked back up amid the growing civil rights movement and a massive Southern white backlash.
The state purchased the land for $2 million in 1958 and Gov. Marvin Griffin signed legislation creating the Stone Mountain Memorial Association, which would shepherd the project to completion in 1972.
But it’s about heritage, not hate, right? Well (boldface mine):
Across the parking lot, Allan Croft, a bearded Dalton resident, debated Southern history with a group of young black men.
“Yeah, we didn’t want our daughters to marry you and we didn’t want our children to go to school with you,” he said. “But you’ve got to realize something, your parents didn’t want it, either.”
Croft blamed integration and the civil rights movement on “Communist Jews” and said accused Charleston shooter Dylann Roof “should have went to the synagogue, because that’s the enemy of all of us.”
Keep in mind that the protestors were asked to be on their best behavior.
(By the way, if he votes, I wonder which party he typically supports? Probably not the one liked by “Communist Jews”.)
But somewhere on a college campus, someone on the left said something really stupid so both sides do it, and all that:
Aurielle Marie said she showed up at the rally Saturday afternoon after a string of racial epithets were hurled at her as she walked in the park. Marie wasn’t buying rally-goers’ “heritage, not hate” mantra, particularly after learning that some black women with their children at the park also allegedly were being harassed by name-callers.
…Richard Rose, president of the Atlanta NAACP, said his organization did not counter-protest the rally out of fear their members “would be met with violence from anyone who flies the flag of hate.” However, he said the organization finds the carving “particularly galling” considering Atlanta’s historical prominence in the civil rights movement.
It’s still a fucking swastika. With all that entails.