The Time Is Right to Sandblast Stone Mountain
However, as the movement to remove confederate monuments grows, the threat of violence from white supremacists seeking to defend what they call "sacred landmarks" also grows. The Frontline Organizations Working to End Racism coalition (FLOWER) supports the call from the NAACP to remove all confederate monuments from Georgia, and also hopes that the pre-Superbowl rally will complement the rally FLOWER will hold at Stone Mountain itself.
"We recognize the opportunity for mass attention for the movement to be gained by a rally near the Super Bowl stadium, and we also believe it's crucially important to counter white supremacists directly when they seek to hold their own rally at Stone Mountain," says Andrea McDonald, a FLOWER organizer.
For years, white supremacists have protected Confederate monuments based on a three-pronged strategy: revisionist history, legal state protection, and violent terrorism against communities of color. In 2019, the first two strategies are encountering push-back. Racist pseudo-history is being challenged and replaced with accurate accounts. Throughout the South, the political landscape is shifting, and communities are beginning to see opportunities to challenge legally-protected racist monuments.
But the third strategy — racist terror — remains.
Confederate sites such as at Stone Mountain, where the modern Klan was born in 1915, are still rallying points for racist organizers. A Klan- and neo-Nazi-organized protest is being planned for Stone Mountain Park on Saturday, February 2. Wherever Confederate monuments function as designed, white supremacists are emboldened.
"We welcome the strong push being made against Confederate monuments during Super Bowl weekend," says Andrea McDonald, "and we hope for large attendance at all anti-racist events. Inside the city or on top of the mountain, the community will not succumb to fear."