Over the last several weeks Republican presidential candidate Dr. Ben Carson has offered several statements rooted in his peculiar understanding of history. In so doing he follows in a long line of presidential candidates (coming from both major parties) who make references to historical examples in support of whatever point they wish to make.
Most recently Dr. Carson has been talking a lot about his opposition to gun control measures. He cites history in support of such statements, and most recently has taken to claiming to quote (or paraphrase) Daniel Webster (not to be confused with a current Republican congressman) as saying in effect that what makes tyranny impossible in the United States is that the citizenry is armed.
There has been so much discussion lately about whether existing monuments should stay in place that we haven’t heard much about interest in erecting new ones. Word now comes from Georgia of one such effort that should attract attention: a monument to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., is planned for the summit of Stone Mountain.
Specifically, an elevated tower — featuring a replica of the Liberty Bell — would celebrate the single line in the civil rights martyr’s 1963 “I Have a Dream” speech that makes reference to the 825-foot-tall hunk of granite: “Let freedom ring from Stone Mountain of Georgia.”
Sounds like a good idea … but there’s more. The park will also house an exhibit on the service of African American soldiers in the American Civil War. I think we can safely assume that it will focus on those men who wore blue in the fight for freedom. Sorry, H. K. Edgerton.
I’ve written about Stone Mountain here, here, here, and here. Fans of Outkast may be disappointed at the news of this new proposal, but I don’t think they’ll be the loudest voices. Haters gonna hate, as Taylor Swift reminds us. Just shake it off.
After all, southern heritage is too important, too rich, too education to be left in the hands of Confederate heritage advocates. This proposal makes Stone Mountain a more welcoming place for more people, and a place where one can weigh the forces of tolerance, freedom, and love against the forces of … well, you know.