Over the weekend, Deal said he was open to appointing a black member to the Stone Mountain Memorial Association Board of Directors. He even said he didn’t know the entire board was white. This seems a little far-fetched considering he appointed or reappointed eight out of ten members. He even reappointed some of them more than once (for example, Perry Tindol was reappointed by Deal in 2013 and for a second time in 2016).
Both the NAACP and Democratic candidate for governor, Stacey Abrams have called for the Confederate faces to be taken off of Stone Mountain. Georgia Republicans, including Gov. Deal, are still trying to find ways to legally protect the monuments. If the Stone Mountain Memorial Association Board stays full of white Republicans, any suggestion about removing or altering the faces of the Confederacy
It’s important to remember that the Stone Mountain carvings are not historical markers that remain from the bygone era of the Confederacy. As Stacey Abrams said in a video clip on CNN, “[the Confederate monuments] were put up post-Reconstruction to terrorize black families, to scare them because of their demand to be treated as equal American citizens.” Abrams also said “I may have issue with other parts of our American history, but there is nothing that Americans should unite around more than tearing down monuments to bigotry and racism and domestic terrorism.”
However, because of the huge amount of protection the monument continues to receive from Republicans within the state, it’s going to be challenging to see Abrams’ wish come true.
A 2001 law that refers to the “heroes of the Confederate States of America” on Stone Mountain also dictates that the so-called heroes are “preserved and protected for all time as a tribute to the bravery and heroism” of the South’s soldiers. As of right now, Deal said if Abrams’ movement passed, he would veto it.