• In aftermath of Charlottesville, groups want confederate symbols removed

    By: Rikki Klaus , Steve Gehlbach

    Updated:

    DEKALB COUNTY, Ga. - Controversy is brewing over a local confederate memorial in the wake of violence in Charlottesville, Virginia at a white supremacist rally aimed to protect a statue of Robert E. Lee.

    The confederate monument is on the Decatur Square, outside the DeKalb History Center, a former courthouse.

    Groups call for the removal of confederate statues in Georgia
    WSB-TV

    The statue shows it was erected in 1908.

    Critics, including the Georgia NAACP, say more than 100 years later It’s time for the statue to come down.

    The organization told Channel 2’s Rikki Klaus that plans to ask Gov. Nathan Deal to tear down confederate memorials and monuments in Georgia.

    “We are resolute in our position to remove these objects that reinforce white supremacy and racial oppression,” Gerald Griggs with the Georgia NAACP told Klaus.


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    Griggs said he is a descendant of a slave and wants "the lost cause" memorial in downtown Decatur to go first.

    “This is not about heritage. This is about hate,” Griggs said.

    The memorial was erected in 1908 in the memory of the soldiers and sailors of the Confederacy.

    Eric Erzinger started a petition to tear down the obelisk.

    “It’s an explicitly racist memorial. It doesn’t represent our values as a community,” Erzinger told Klaus.

    Korean war veteran Patrick McNally said he appreciates Confederate statues and the war heroes.

    “We should recognize them and keep them honorable, like they should be,” McNally said.

    Georgia State University heritage preservation program director, Richard Laub, said there’s always been concern about what the monuments represent.

    “I think there needs to be a really thoughtful process and hopefully we stay away from the knee-jerk reaction that we saw in Charlottesville and the devastation that we saw there,” Laub said.

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