Proposal would forbid local governments from hiding embarrassing memorials

Thursday, Jan. 31, 2013 10:16 AM
Last updated 7:56 PM
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ATLANTA -- Legislation introduced this week in the Georgia Legislature would prohibit local governments from hiding monuments they are no longer proud of.

The measure, House Bill 91, is designed to safeguard statues, plaques and other markers recognizing revolutionary or Confederate heroes from modern sensibilities that may object to views on race held in the 18th and 19th centuries.

Rep. Tommy Benton, R-Jefferson, introduced the proposal at the request of the Sons of the American Revolution and the Sons of Confederate Veterans.

The bill, if passed, would require that monuments be kept in a prominent place.

“We’re not saying they can’t move them,” Benton said. “We’re just saying they can’t just put them in a field somewhere.”

He also introduced a separate bill that would require property owners to give access to the families of people buried in private cemeteries on their land. He said many families have been frustrated that they can’t get permission to tend the graves of their ancestors because those who now own the land surrounding the family plots refuse.

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Jake
34108
Points
Jake 01/31/13 - 11:11 am
6
0
History

While you may not agree with what happened a long time ago, you should also allow the markers, monuments, etc, to remain for all to see. How else will people know about history, especially local history.

When you buy property that has a cemetary on it then it should be understood that the ancestors of the deceased would want to visit and tend it.

Little Lamb
49245
Points
Little Lamb 01/31/13 - 11:23 am
3
1
Exhume

How about just offering to let the descendents of the deceased (not the ancestors) just exhume and cart off the remains and the markers for reburial on property owned by the descendents?

Cremation and scattering is also a good option.

GiantsAllDay
10550
Points
GiantsAllDay 01/31/13 - 11:30 am
1
7
The war between the states

The war between the states will never end, will it? I'm willing to bet some of the elected fools under the gold dome in Atlanta believe that it's only halftime and they're just chomping at the bit to come out for the second half. This war was the darkest era in out country's history and to glorify it, re-enact battles where real human beings lost their lives, etc is sick and twisted, IMO.

OpenCurtain
10049
Points
OpenCurtain 01/31/13 - 12:30 pm
5
2
We won

based on all the Yankees that hate the North that have moved down here for Employment, climate, safer schools, safer communities, lower taxes and a lower cost of living.

GiantsAllDay
10550
Points
GiantsAllDay 01/31/13 - 12:46 pm
7
2
I don't think anybody won.

I don't think anybody won. >620,000 dead.

Red Headed Step Child
4491
Points
Red Headed Step Child 01/31/13 - 01:32 pm
4
1
Taking away monuments

doesn't erase the fact that the Civil War happened or any other moment of historical significance for that matter. Monuments should serve as a reminder of what happened in history - the good, bad and the ugly - and history should be preserved and learned from. I don't consider them as necessarily glorifying anything - but that's just me. Interpretation and opinion is in the eye of the beholder - and you know what they say - we all have "one".

It all comes down to you can NEVER please anyone all of the time. Leave 'em up, you embarass someone. Take 'em down, you anger someone. Who's right is it to say who gets their way? Can't we all just get along??

Darby
29441
Points
Darby 01/31/13 - 01:48 pm
4
1
"sick and twisted, IMO"

And you are welcome to your opinion.

On the other hand, those who refuse to learn from history are doomed to repeat it. Pretending the the Civil War never happened doesn't change anything.

Your approach reminds me of a photograph I once saw. It was Mao Te Tung, following his victory at the end of what he called "The Great March" to wrest control of China from Chiang Kai-shek. The photo was taken during the struggle and depicted Mao surrounded by his closest supporters.

What I saw was a before and after version. One of Mao's allies had fallen out of favor and had been airbrushed out of the photo. Mao had ordered all of the original photos destroyed but some had survived.

My point being that you don't change history by denying it.

Frankly, it's been my experience that northerners seem to be more prone to fixate on the Civil War than southerners. Not unlike some GI's stationed in Germany today rail against the German nationals for their attitude. Saying things like "Don't they know we won the war?"

Learn from and honor the past, but don't attempt to draw too many relevant conclusions from it. Particularly about regional attitudes. It was far too long ago.

specsta
7181
Points
specsta 01/31/13 - 02:25 pm
8
1
Priorities

Okay, let's see - the state's unemployment rate is hovering near 10%, education funding per student has decreased 15% within 4 years, there are 50,000 homeless children in the state, the state is ranked #43 out of 50 states in infant mortality ---

YET,

Georgia's DO-NOTHING lawmakers are worried about MONUMENTS???

What a complete joke.

Darby
29441
Points
Darby 01/31/13 - 10:15 pm
3
2
"Okay, let's see - the state's unemployment....

rate is hovering near 10%, education funding per student has decreased 15% within 4 years, there are 50,000 homeless children in the state, the state is ranked #43 out of 50 states in infant mortality ---"

Not that you can document all those claims, but even so, I'll bet there are a lot of states that would love to have you move there.

BTW, there is absolutely NO direct correlation between "education" funding and the graduation rate or the knowledge students leave school with.. That is almost certainly because most of that funding goes to teachers unions.

rebellious
22027
Points
rebellious 02/01/13 - 01:03 am
3
2
The Point Is...

many who fought for the Confederacy did so in defense of their newly formed nation. It is popular these days to classify the "The War Against Northern Aggression" as a fight for/against slavery. Anyone with an objective mind will recognize there were many factors at the core of the disagreement. Furthermore, anyone with an objective mind will recognize that men and even kids die over conflict they have no real feelings about. They fight because that is what Americans do when the country is a stake. We did it in 1776, 1812, 1862, 1951, 1970, ad nauseum.

What is wrong with honoring those poor departed souls who lost their lives for an effort so big they had no way to comprehend beyond the propaganda of the day?

Techfan
6462
Points
Techfan 02/01/13 - 07:53 am
4
1
Having owned property that

Having owned property that had a cemetery, we were told by our lawyer that we had to allow "reasonable acccess" for the family to the site. That doesn't mean (at least we didn't think it did) the folks who dropped by at 8:00am on a Sunday morning because, "they were in town and in the area". We were a tad ticked. We finally put up a sign letting them know they could call and set up an appointment. Passing the law without restictions or limits sets up the chance that property owners could be hassled constantly. We had a hard time getting them to understand that they had "reasonable access" to the site, they did not own the site or the property.

SFCRET85
4998
Points
SFCRET85 02/01/13 - 07:57 am
1
0
For Rebellious
Unpublished

"But not to be tedious in enumerating the numerous changes for the better, allow me to allude to one other though last, not least. The new constitution has put at rest, forever, all the agitating questions relating to our peculiar institution African slavery as it exists amongst us the proper status of the negro in our form of civilization. This was the immediate cause of the late rupture and present revolution. Jefferson in his forecast, had anticipated this, as the "rock upon which the old Union would split." He was right. What was conjecture with him, is now a realized fact. But whether he fully comprehended the great truth upon which that rock stood and stands, may be doubted. The prevailing ideas entertained by him and most of the leading statesmen at the time of the formation of the old constitution, were that the enslavement of the African was in violation of the laws of nature; that it was wrong in principle, socially, morally, and politically. It was an evil they knew not well how to deal with, but the general opinion of the men of that day was that, somehow or other in the order of Providence, the institution would be evanescent and pass away. This idea, though not incorporated in the constitution, was the prevailing idea at that time. The constitution, it is true, secured every essential guarantee to the institution while it should last, and hence no argument can be justly urged against the constitutional guarantees thus secured, because of the common sentiment of the day. Those ideas, however, were fundamentally wrong. They rested upon the assumption of the equality of races. This was an error. It was a sandy foundation, and the government built upon it fell when the "storm came and the wind blew."

Our new government is founded upon exactly the opposite idea; its foundations are laid, its corner- stone rests, upon the great truth that the negro is not equal to the white man; that slavery subordination to the superior race is his natural and normal condition. This, our new government, is the first, in the history of the world, based upon this great physical, philosophical, and moral truth. This truth has been slow in the process of its development, like all other truths in the various departments of science. It has been so even amongst us. Many who hear me, perhaps, can recollect well, that this truth was not generally admitted, even within their day. The errors of the past generation still clung to many as late as twenty years ago. Those at the North, who still cling to these errors, with a zeal above knowledge, we justly denominate fanatics. All fanaticism springs from an aberration of the mind from a defect in reasoning. It is a species of insanity. One of the most striking characteristics of insanity, in many instances, is forming correct conclusions from fancied or erroneous premises; so with the anti-slavery fanatics. Their conclusions are right if their premises were. They assume that the negro is equal, and hence conclude that he is entitled to equal privileges and rights with the white man. If their premises were correct, their conclusions would be logical and just but their premise being wrong, their whole argument fails. I recollect once of having heard a gentleman from one of the northern States, of great power and ability, announce in the House of Representatives, with imposing effect, that we of the South would be compelled, ultimately, to yield upon this subject of slavery, that it was as impossible to war successfully against a principle in politics, as it was in physics or mechanics. That the principle would ultimately prevail. That we, in maintaining slavery as it exists with us, were warring against a principle, a principle founded in nature, the principle of the equality of men. The reply I made to him was, that upon his own grounds, we should, ultimately, succeed, and that he and his associates, in this crusade against our institutions, would ultimately fail. The truth announced, that it was as impossible to war successfully against a principle in politics as it was in physics and mechanics, I admitted; but told him that it was he, and those acting with him, who were warring against a principle. They were attempting to make things equal which the Creator had made unequal."

Alexander H. Stephens, Vice President CSA March 21 1861, Savannah, GA.

I wonder where his memorial is?

SFCRET85
4998
Points
SFCRET85 02/01/13 - 08:00 am
1
0
"But not to be tedious in
Unpublished

"But not to be tedious in enumerating the numerous changes for the better, allow me to allude to one other though last, not least. The new constitution has put at rest, forever, all the agitating questions relating to our peculiar institution African slavery as it exists amongst us the proper status of the negro in our form of civilization. This was the immediate cause of the late rupture and present revolution. Jefferson in his forecast, had anticipated this, as the "rock upon which the old Union would split." He was right. What was conjecture with him, is now a realized fact. But whether he fully comprehended the great truth upon which that rock stood and stands, may be doubted. The prevailing ideas entertained by him and most of the leading statesmen at the time of the formation of the old constitution, were that the enslavement of the African was in violation of the laws of nature; that it was wrong in principle, socially, morally, and politically. It was an evil they knew not well how to deal with, but the general opinion of the men of that day was that, somehow or other in the order of Providence, the institution would be evanescent and pass away. This idea, though not incorporated in the constitution, was the prevailing idea at that time. The constitution, it is true, secured every essential guarantee to the institution while it should last, and hence no argument can be justly urged against the constitutional guarantees thus secured, because of the common sentiment of the day. Those ideas, however, were fundamentally wrong. They rested upon the assumption of the equality of races. This was an error. It was a sandy foundation, and the government built upon it fell when the "storm came and the wind blew."

Our new government is founded upon exactly the opposite idea; its foundations are laid, its corner- stone rests, upon the great truth that the negro is not equal to the white man; that slavery subordination to the superior race is his natural and normal condition. This, our new government, is the first, in the history of the world, based upon this great physical, philosophical, and moral truth. This truth has been slow in the process of its development, like all other truths in the various departments of science. It has been so even amongst us. Many who hear me, perhaps, can recollect well, that this truth was not generally admitted, even within their day. The errors of the past generation still clung to many as late as twenty years ago. Those at the North, who still cling to these errors, with a zeal above knowledge, we justly denominate fanatics. All fanaticism springs from an aberration of the mind from a defect in reasoning. It is a species of insanity. One of the most striking characteristics of insanity, in many instances, is forming correct conclusions from fancied or erroneous premises; so with the anti-slavery fanatics. Their conclusions are right if their premises were. They assume that the negro is equal, and hence conclude that he is entitled to equal privileges and rights with the white man. If their premises were correct, their conclusions would be logical and just but their premise being wrong, their whole argument fails. I recollect once of having heard a gentleman from one of the northern States, of great power and ability, announce in the House of Representatives, with imposing effect, that we of the South would be compelled, ultimately, to yield upon this subject of slavery, that it was as impossible to war successfully against a principle in politics, as it was in physics or mechanics. That the principle would ultimately prevail. That we, in maintaining slavery as it exists with us, were warring against a principle, a principle founded in nature, the principle of the equality of men. The reply I made to him was, that upon his own grounds, we should, ultimately, succeed, and that he and his associates, in this crusade against our institutions, would ultimately fail. The truth announced, that it was as impossible to war successfully against a principle in politics as it was in physics and mechanics, I admitted; but told him that it was he, and those acting with him, who were warring against a principle. They were attempting to make things equal which the Creator had made unequal."

Alexander H. Stephens, Vice President CSA, March 21, 1861

I wonder where the monument to this grand man of the South is.

Willow Bailey
20605
Points
Willow Bailey 02/01/13 - 09:42 am
5
0
Let's have some responsibility

The access one should have to a grave site on another's property is the opportunity to either 1) an annual inspection for visitation and maintenance by appointment during business hours or 2) qualified grave removal and reburial after court approval.

If you visit, you should also be required to maintain the site to a reasonable expectation of the property owner.

itsanotherday1
48395
Points
itsanotherday1 02/01/13 - 09:56 am
3
0
Dittos WIllow and Tech

If I had a cemetary on my property, I wouldn't want people coming any time of the day or night they pleased either. I imagine most family and interested parties would understand that and be gracious about when/how they visited.

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