Former Macon mayor, others fight to get confederate statue removed
MACON, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) — Former Macon Mayor C. Jack Ellis and others stood at the foot of the confederate memorial statue in downtown Macon.
Ellis says the group has been fighting to get the landmark removed and calls now the perfect time to do so.
“We will continue to ask that the statue be removed, and put in its proper place,” said Ellis.
The former mayor says the rightful place for the statue is in Rose Hill Cemetery. He says since the monument is on city property, relocating it to the cemetery is no issue.
“The city has a responsibility. The symbol is offensive, divisive,” expressed Ellis.
According to the Macon-Bibb Office of Public Affairs, there is a state law that prohibits the removal of any confederate statues. The office says the current mayor, Robert Reichert, began working with the county’s attorney’s office to determine what they can and can not do with the statue.
Ellis says he spoke to State Senator David Lucas about a potential bill that allows the people to decide what will go in public spaces.
Twenty-year-old resident Elijah Rutland says the city needs work. He says Macon has a real racial divide, and a statute like the one downtown doesn’t belong where he calls home.
“Personally, I think it should go in the trash can,” shared Rutland.
However, Ellis says it’s encouraging to see white Americans speaking up.
“As they say, we are glad they are woke,” said Ellis.
Ellis says he did not remove the statue in his eight-year term because everything has a time and place. He said, “now is the time.”