Former mayor reveals Georgia policy giving cities control over monuments


MACON, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) – A former Macon mayor and several A.M.E clergy members are calling for the removal of the two confederate statues in Macon.
Not only that, they say they’re dispelling the rumors about whether the city can legally do it.

Since the white nationalist rally turned riot in Charlottesville, a nationwide trend of removing confederate monuments has followed.

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“From New Orleans, to Baltimore, Lexington, Kentucky, Louisville, Kentucky, Columbia, South Carolina and I could go on and on.”

Now, African American clergy, community members and a former Mayor are looking to see Macon added to that list.

“We come today because we believe it is imperative that these symbols of hate and white supremacy be removed,” said Bishop Reginald T. Jackson

Many believed it couldn’t be done in Georgia because of state law. However, former Mayor C. Jack Ellis says a little known state policy actually leaves the decision up to cities.

“Now, I know we’ve heard many cases that the state does not allow it that there’s a state law against it, but we have something in Georgia which is called ‘home rule’ where cities get to decide what goes into their parks, what monuments go into their parks.”

Bishop Jackson says they aren’t trying to forget the past. “We do believe the civil war and the confederacy is a part of history.”

But, they do believe certain parts of history are to be remembered and not revered. “Adolf Hitler and the Third Reich are a part of German history but that history is not celebrated,” he added.

Ellis says they aren’t asking for the statues to be torn down or hidden. “There’s a space dedicated and set aside for fallen Confederate soldiers.”

They believe moving the statues to Rose Hill Cemetery or another historic site like the Cannon Ball House is the solution.

There are around 1500 confederate monuments publicly displayed in cities across the united states. Jackson says Georgia was home to the 3rd largest number of those statues.