NAACP, SCLC urge Gov. Deal to take down ‘symbols of hate’


Local leaders of the NAACP and Southern Christian Leadership Conference on Friday called on Gov. Nathan Deal to eliminate “symbols of hate” from government property.

At a news conference, Richard Rose, president of the Atlanta chapter of the in NAACP, and SCLC national President Charles Steele also hinted they may call for an economic boycott of the state if progress isn’t made on the issue.

The leaders zeroed in on the Confederate battle flag and Confederate figures at Stone Mountain Park. They described the flag and figures of Confederate leaders on the mountain as symbols to hate, slavery and white supremacy.

The Auburn Avenue news conference was held a day after local and federal authorities said two men left four Confederate battle flags at nearby Ebenezer Baptist Church and the Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historic Site. Police said they were working to identify the two men seen in several church surveillance videos released late Thursday.

Rose told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution earlier that the news conference was held after Deal’s office canceled a meeting with the groups.

The Governor’s Office, however, disputes use of the word “canceled.”

“You can’t cancel a meeting you didn’t schedule,” spokesman, Brian Robinson told the AJC’s Greg Bluestein. “They sent in a meeting request form — which is the right way to do it — and we had to decline. The governor won’t be available tomorrow. I’m afraid the word choice is intentionally misleading and charged. That’s not helpful.”

Deal has said he wants a redesign of a state-sponsored license plate featuring the Confederate flag emblem, rather than have the plate phased out or eliminated entirely.

Regarding calls to alter the Confederate images on Stone Mountain, the governor said recently: “It’s not a debate that is useful.”

Rose told the AJC earlier his group is set on a three-pronged strategy to press its goals: “Rallies, boycotts, legislation.”

Thursday’s flag incident at the church and MLK National Historic Site was the latest involving the ongoing debate over the Confederate flag, sparked anew by the massacre of nine black church members in Charleston, S.C., the white supremacist suspect who embraces the flag and the battle over the flag in South Carolina, Georgia and elsewhere.

“This is just not Stone Mountain I’m talking about,” Steele said. “Were asking for all symbols of racism and the Confederacy to be eradicated.”

Please return to AJC.com for updates.



Next Up in Local

Repair work continues on key Paulding highway
Repair work continues on key Paulding highway

Water is flowing again along U.S. 278 in Paulding County, but it could be midday Saturday or later before all traffic lanes reopen. Flooding from a water main break Friday reduced eastbound traffic to one lane on a stretch of the highway in Hiram, officials said. Also, water service was off for awhile to businesses in the area. Crews worked overnight...
Warm will be the norm again Saturday
Warm will be the norm again Saturday

Today: Sunshine, afternoon clouds. High: 88 Tonight: Mainly clear skies. Low: 66 Tomorrow: Sunny, afternoon clouds. High: 86 College football will resume with big games in Atlanta and Athens on Saturday. Must be fall, right? Well, for the second straight day, the temperature will feel more like summer, even though fall officially arrived...
Why a MARTA move into Cobb County wouldn’t have to be all or nothing
Why a MARTA move into Cobb County wouldn’t have to be all or nothing

A view of the Cumberland Community Improvement District looking northward from the Cobb Energy Centre. BOB ANDRES / BANDRES@AJC.COM Local communities are largely the product of two constituencies. One is business-based. The other is voter-based. Political, in other words. The two don’t always approach change at the same speed. An unusual and...
Trump: McCain ‘never had any intention’ of backing latest health care bill
Trump: McCain ‘never had any intention’ of backing latest health care bill

President Donald Trump took a shot at U.S. Sen. John McCain early Saturday in a series of tweets, saying the Arizona Republican “never had any intention” of voting for the latest GOP health care bill. McCain’s rejection of the Graham-Cassidy proposal effectively ends the party's chances at repealing Obamacare -- for now. >>...
Middle school runner chooses kindness over competitiveness
Middle school runner chooses kindness over competitiveness

A middle school athlete from Michigan showed that sportsmanship was more important than winning a cross country race, UpNorthLive.com reported. >> Read more trending news Amelia Malburg, an eighth-grader at Mason County Eastern, was running in a meet when she noticed her teammate was on the ground and struggling. Malburg said she generally...
More Stories