District 27 state Sen. Michael Williams is sounding off against a fellow candidate for governor for her remarks encouraging the removal of a Confederate sculpture engraved into Stone Mountain.
After comments made by Democratic gubernatorial candidate and District 89 state Rep. Stacey Abrams on Tuesday to remove the bas-relief sculpture of Confederates Robert E. Lee, Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson and Jefferson Davis from Stone Mountain, Williams, who represents the majority of Forsyth County, has issued his own comments in favor of keeping the sculpture.
“I want to know where Stacey draws the line. Will she demand we blow up the Jefferson Memorial and knock down the Washington Monument?” Williams said in a robo-call email he uses to relay campaign fundraising information and statements. “Let me make myself clear: I do not support defacing Stone Mountain or any of our monuments, and I do not support rewriting Georgia’s history.”
Calls to remove Confederate monuments and memorials have increased nationwide after protestors forcibly removed a Confederate memorial in Durham, North Carolina, in a move meant to show solidarity with counter-protestors against a white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia on Saturday.
The Charlottesville rally centered around the planned removal of a statue of Lee and was heavily covered by national media. Coverage increased after counter-protestor Heather Heyer was killed when a 20-year-old rally participant drove his car through a group of people.
In the wake of the weekend’s events, Abrams made a series of posts on social media calling for the symbols to be removed.
“Confederate monuments belong in museums where we can study and reflect on that terrible history, not in places of honor across our state,” Abrams said. “The managers of Stone Mountain have taken steps to educate with a powerful audio tour to return the listener to the horrors of slavery, but the visible image of Stone Mountain’s edifice remains a blight on our state and should be removed.”
Williams, who condemned the Charlottesville rally earlier this week, accused Abrams of stirring up racial tensions and called the plan to remove the sculptures “complete nonsense.”
“Stacey’s reckless statement provides more insight into why the House Democrat Caucus rejected her hand-picked successor,” he said. “All Georgians should reject her campaign intended to incite racial division.”