• Confederate monument in DeKalb County could be removed soon

    By: Audrey Washington

    Updated:

    DEKALB COUNTY, Ga. - After a 6 to 1 vote, the DeKalb County Board of Commissioners approved a resolution that could determine the fate of a Confederate monument in Decatur Square.

    Activist groups told Channel 2’s Audrey Washington they are now one step closer to getting the Confederate monument removed for good.

    Tuesday, the board approved a Confederate monument resolution. The commission will now have 30 days to decide what to do with the monument that has stirred so much controversy in the area.

    “The Civil War was about slavery. These monuments were erected to celebrate a white supremacy resurrection,” Sara Patenaude with a Hate Free Decatur told Washington. 

    “It’s about remembrance of the men who fought and died during the civil war for DeKalb County,” Decatur resident Chris Billingsley said. 

    Billingsley is a retired Decatur history teacher and supports keeping the monument.


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    After he made public comments before the board, Billingsley talked to Washington about the Confederate soldiers and their families. 

    There was a tense moment during Washington’s interview when an African-American man, who wants the monument removed, asked Billingsley, “What about my ancestors?”
    This is what happened next.

    “Would you like to answer his question?” Washington asked Billingsley.

    “I have to go to work, unlike the many people in there who want the monument removed, I still work,” Billingsley answered.

    “We work too,” the man told Billingsley. 

    Billingsley walked away without further comment.

    Activists said they’ll continue to work towards the removal and focus on the future of the monument.

    “We hope this sends a message to the rest of Georgia that it’s time to remove these monuments,” Gerald Griggs with the Georgia NAACP told Washington. 

    “This is a very positive step forward as we continue to fight and struggle to have this monument removed,” Mawuli Davis of the Beacon Hill Chapter of the NAACP said. 

    Activists told Washington they would like to see the monument put in its historical context which they believe should be in a museum, not in Decatur Square.

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