At Issue: Should legislator be compelled to be part of MLK statue? – Atlanta Journal Constitution

A member of the State Legislature wants no part of bringing a statue of Martin Luther King Jr. to capitol grounds. State Rep. Tommy Benton (R-Jefferson) doesnt want his name included on a plaque that will accompany a statue of King that will soon be unveiled at the state capitol.

I want everybody name who was associated with the statue on the statue. In the spirit of Dr. King we want it, said SCLC President and CEO Charles Steele. If he believes, to any degree, in the upward mobility of what he is supposed to represent, he would want his name on there. But if you dont believe in freedom and justice, we dont want you.

On the opposite side is a member of organization charged with keeping the memory of the Confederacy alive.

Grady Vickery, a member of Sons of Confederate Veterans in Dawsonville said he does not personally know Benton, but says Benton has every right to remove his name from a statue honoring King. Vickery also supports statements Benton has made that the Civil War was not started over slavery.

What should be done? Does it matter if Bentons name is left off the plaque? Or is that a misrepresentation of history? Since he was against the statue in the first place, is it O.K. for him to abstain from participation? Or must he be a part of the project so that it reflects his constituents?

Send your comments to Responses may be edited for length and/or clarity. They also may appear in print and/or online.


Reversing a decision of October 2015, Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed now supports painting a permanent rainbow crosswalk at 10th Street and Piedmont Avenue in Midtown as a symbol of unity with the LGBTQ community.

Heres what readers had to say about it:

Frankly, Im getting tired of having to show special favoritism to specific groups who think their cause is the most important focus a community should have. Political pandering is all that this is. Sad this group seems to get more press time than remembering those who died protecting this country and their constitutional right to be different. But they spit on everyone else who wont agree with their point of view. D. Stephan

As far as the rainbow crosswalk is concerned, what does God say about it? I think you will find it in Leviticus 18:22. Look it up and see what he says. Charlotte and Thomas Brayton

Rainbow-hued crosswalks dont bother me. I see them as persistent cries for recognition of a deviant lifestyle (but) Im concerned that our children might see these signs of rebellion as another way to resist parental guidance. Its hard enough for parents to raise children without having to explain why a self-marginalized groups behavior is considered normal by the media and public officials. Jack Franklin

This is very distracting; I almost ran into the car in front of me looking at it. The car behind me did the same. Let the LGBQT community paint something that will not cause accidents. Jack Malott

(They) didnt think about that, but if ISIS or the Boy Scouts wanted to designate some public space as their own, the mayor would have to consider it. Daisy Cook

David Ibata for the AJC

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At Issue: Should legislator be compelled to be part of MLK statue? – Atlanta Journal Constitution

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June 22, 2017   Posted in: Martin Luther King |

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