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SeeClickFix used to report Confederate monument in Decatur as ‘trash’

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SeeClickFix used to report Confederate monument in Decatur as ‘trash’

After the Stand With Charlottesville candlelight vigil on August 13. 2017, in Decatur, Ga., attendees gather to discuss the controversial "Lost Cause" monument in Decatur Square.
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After the Stand With Charlottesville candlelight vigil on August 13. 2017, in Decatur, Ga., attendees gather to discuss the controversial “Lost Cause” monument in Decatur Square. Photo by Annalise Kaylor

Someone who objects to the Confederate monument in the Decatur Square has used the city’s public works reporting system to ask for its removal.

SeeClickFix is typically used to report pot-holes, lighting outages and other concerns to the city’s Public Works Department. The Confederate monument in the square that was erected in 1908. The monument is owned by DeKalb County, according to City Manager Peggy Merriss, and the county is responsible for its upkeep. There’ve been calls in the community for the monument’s removal but there hasn’t been any organized effort to do so.

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The monument’s presence was discussed by residents gathered in the square for a vigil on Sunday, though the monument was not the focus of the vigil. The candlelight vigil was a response to a rally in Virginia on Saturday was held by white nationalists to protest the removal of a statue of Robert E. Lee. It drew counter protesters and the event became violent and chaotic, resulting in three deaths. Decatur’s vigil, organized hours before it began, drew hundreds of residents to the square.

The memorial was tagged in the SeeClickFix system as “trash” and the report was forwarded to the city’s Public Works Department. The report is titled, “Please Remove Racist Confederate Monument that’s a Dog-Whistle to White Supremacists.”

“In Decatur Square, there is a monument to Confederate Soldiers that paints a false, revisionist ‘lost-cause’ narrative of the Confederacy, written by a widely-documented white supremacist, that valorizes the cause of slavery and bigotry,” the SeeClickFix report says. “In the wake of Charlottesville, this monument to bigotry and racism should have no place of prominence in our community — it serves as a dog-whistle to white-supremacists, and it’s prominent place outside the old courthouse is no accident — it’s to ‘remind’ African Americans that they’ll always be marginalized and denigrated from the perspective of Jim-Crow ‘justice.’ It doesn’t represent our community and it’s hateful ideology has no place in Decatur Square: move it to a museum where it can be properly historically contextualized to counter the false, racist, revisionist history it portrays.”

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