Atlantans mull fate of Confederate monuments and street signs
'It doesn't change history to take these monuments down'
City of Atlanta/Channel 26Both white and black Atlantans are protesting the removal of the city's Confederate monuments and street signs. That's not to say they want to protect memorials to the Civil War's white supremacists; they just think the city's Confederate Monuments Advisory Committee needs to individually evaluate each street sign and effigy with a Rebel namesake, rather than making a blanket decision to scrap them all.
Yesterday, at the committee's third meeting, longtime Atlanta residents, historians, and community leaders lodged their concerns with calls to strike down symbols of 'The South.' One speaker, during public comment time, noted that a large number if not the majority of Chosewood Park streets are named for Civil War icons. So some people are concerned not only about the confusion that could come from renaming most of the neighborhood map, but with concerns of "erasing history."
But committee leader Douglas Blackmon, a Pulitzer Prize-winning author of "Slavery by Another Name," says stripping Atlanta streets of Confederate signs and symbols isn't tampering with history at all. America's restrooms and water fountains aren't still adorned with 'whites' and 'coloreds' signs, he says. "It doesn't change history to take Confederate monuments down."