By Al Chatman
DeKalb County resident
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. often quoted William Cullen Bryant in saying, “Truth crushed to earth shall rise again;” then he would add, “A lie cannot live forever.”
It appears that some members of the Stone Mountain Memorial Association(SMMA) and some Georgia legislators are trying to prove that these adages are wrong. They want us to believe that they can forever perpetuate the untruths promoted by the United Daughters of the Confederacy and other regressive organizations. They want us to disregard the truth and believe that a lie can live forever.
We know that the so-called Lost Cause is a lie. We know that the rebellion against the United States was to maintain the inhumane institution of slavery. We know that there is nothing honorable about betraying one’s country. We know that this is the only nation on earth that builds monuments to honor its traitors. We know that the uplifting of the Confederacy has an ulterior effect of promoting the misguided philosophy of white supremacy. Yet, there are some of our fellow Georgians who want us to believe those old lies under the pretense of preserving their heritage or under the new lies of doing it for the sake of unity.
There is absolutely nothing about the Confederacy that is worth preserving–other than the memory of what it stood for and the horrors that it caused.
As far as accepting the status quo at Stone Mountain Park for the sake of unity, I proclaim that the insertion of UNITY in the discussions about any Confederacy acceptance is a distraction. There is no unity between good and evil. There is no unity between right and wrong. There is no unity between bigotry and tolerance. There is no unity between a lie and the truth, and there should be no attempt at unity in the preservation of this public park as a memorial to the Confederacy.
It is time that the lies about the virtues of the Confederacy be permanently put to rest as proof that it is certainly true that a lie cannot live forever.
This move requires courage, I know. Leaders are elected to lead. Leaders do not serve their constituents well by placating their fears and keeping them in the dark. I urge the powers-that-be to summon the courage to do what is right and cease the recognition of Stone Mountain Park as a memorial to the Confederacy.