MLK monument to be erected at Stone Mountain, Ga--Let Freedom Ring | Beaufort County Now | Georgia governor Nathan Dean announced the plans to erect a monument to MLK at historic Stone Mountain, Ga. It has been fifty two years since MLK made that his "I have a dream" speech and I am afraid that race relations in this country have slipped into an entrenched standoff of "us vs them mentalit | Martin Luther King, Stone Mountain, let freedom ring, liberty bell, MLK, Georgia, civil rights movement, I Have a Dream

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MLK monument to be erected at Stone Mountain, Ga--Let Freedom Ring

Martin Luther King monument to be erected at Stone Mountain, Ga.

   Georgia governor Nathan Deal announced the plans to erect a Monument to MLK at historic Stone Mountain, Ga. It has been fifty two years since MLK made his "I have a dream" speech in August 1963, and I am afraid that race relations in this country have slipped into an entrenched standoff of "us vs them mentality". That might appall MLK if he were still alive. This post is not meant to spark more debate. We have plenty of that to go around already. August 1963 - October 2015. There is still work to do.

    One of my many regrets is that I did not take a more active part in the civil rights movement. I slowly began to cast off the legacy of racism after hearing this speech, but it took a war and a black brother in arms for me to realize that my prejudice was more deeply ingrained that I ever knew. Hopefully my contribution to the cause is that I tried to raise my children free of the taught prejudice that was part of my generation.

   It is fashionable now for many of us Southerners to say we were not racially prejudiced toward blacks when we were young. While some may actually believe that crap, I always remind them that it is somewhat disingenuous to say that when we attended segregated schools, swam in segregated pools, and ate at segregated lunch counters.The best lesson I learned in the "Nam" was that you must face reality. I consider myself a proud southerner and I would not have wanted to be born and raised in any other place. But I must admit, it was not our finest hour. If that make me a squishy liberal, so be it.

    The monument will be a replica of the Liberty Bell to honor Martin Luther King. Stone Mountain is a state owned property but run by a private company under contract. The bell will be paid for without the use of taxpayer money. The bell is in reference to his Washington DC speech and his 'LET FREEDOM RING' reference in the speech.

    Click here for details on the proposed monument.

    This country has made great legal progress to reduce if not eliminate entirely the structural discrimination that existed for many years. I fear that instead of progress we have regressed spiritually into a blame game on both sides of the color spectrum. Some of that may be white backlash and some may be over promised expectation.

    Adding a liberty bell to the top of stone mountain will not solve the divide between the races, and neither will removing the carving from the mountain, but it is at least an acknowledgement that our shared history both good and bad should be represented at this historic location.

    Just as the confederate battle flag has sparked controversy, this effort to establish a MLK presence has created controversy. By now I am sure that almost everyone has heard the I have a dream speech by Martin Luther King. Maybe we should listen again to the dream that still seems to elude us. Here is a short excerpt from the speech that set the ideal that should remind us of the goal.

   

    Certain comments have been disabled on this post as my intention is not to spur the debate but to encourage private thought. If the subject is sufficiently important to you, I suggest you write a post and submit it for publication. Debates in the comment section rarely accomplish anything except increased attention to the car wreck. In that sense it is a good thing for BCN.




Comment

( October 19th, 2015 @ 5:08 am )
 
The controversy continues to rage here about the proposed monument to Dr. King at Stone Mountain. Andrew Young was one of Dr. King's closest advisors during the civil rights movement. He says:
“My understanding of Dr. King’s nonviolence movement was to create a reconciliation of races and opinions,” Young said. "I think it is a wonderful symbolism to have a Freedom Bell on Stone Mountain that would honor Dr. King. It is not only a good idea. It is a necessary idea for this nation to pull together.”
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