COLUMBUS, Ga. — In the wake of a deadly protest centered around the removal of a Confederate monument in Virginia, similar efforts are now underway in the Chattahoochee Valley.
“You know it reminds me of a conversation I had with the Mayor in April of 2012 about the prison labor…and she said…it’s legal…which is the same thing she said about the monument…it’s legal,” says Theresa El-Amin, Regional Director for the Southern Anti-Racism Network.
Thursday, she headed up a discussion about Mayor Teresa Tomlinson’s news conference on the removal of a Confederate monument on Broadway. The statue was dedicated to many of the Confederate fallen.
“And one thing we used to say to ourselves in the Civil Rights movement…just because it’s legal it doesn’t make it right,” says El Amin.
“I do not advocate the removal of that particular monument for several reasons one it is not a monument to war or to generals. It is a monument to death, destruction and loss,” Columbus Mayor Teresa Tomlinson responds.
During Thursday night’s meeting, some chimed in responding to the Mayor’s comment.
Off camera they said, “Those Confederates who died, died fighting in support of slavery.”
Tomlinson says Thursday was the first time she received requests from citizens, including the local chapter of the NAACP, with regard to possible monument removal.
During the SARN discussion, others weighed in on what’s becoming a very controversial topic.
Martha Robert says she believes other issues surrounding whites also need to be tackled in an effort to promote unity among everyone.
“Doing my part as a white person to recognize white privilege to help other white folks understand that it’s there whether they know it or not,” says Robert.