The following statement is from Heidi Beirich, Director of the Intelligence Project for SPLC Action Fund.
This is not what democracy looks like.
The passage of Senate Bill 77 denies the will of Georgians who seek to remove symbols of white supremacy from their public spaces. It also renders all opposing viewpoints irrelevant by leaving no recourse for local elected officials or their constituents.
Monuments honoring genuine heroes will never rival those that celebrate the traitors of the Confederacy. Whether the person depicted supported the Lost Cause or Southern pride, Confederate symbols dedicated to those who fought to defend slavery belong in places like museums where they can be examined in their proper context, not in public spaces such as government land, schools, or parks.
As other states move forward by actively removing Confederate symbols from public spaces, it is unacceptable that some lawmakers instead chose to promote divisiveness under the guise of “preserving history”. We can – and must – continue working together to strengthen Georgia’s future by holding honest debates about our history, and finding ways to commemorate the South’s real heroes.