Civil Rights Groups look to stop Stone Mountain Martin Luther King Monument

Gabe Thomas

A group of Civil Rights leaders met with Georgia governor Nathan Deal on Wednesday to tell him that a monument to Martin Luther King, Jr. should not be placed at Stone Mountain where there are confederate flags and a carving of three confederate civil war generals on the side of the mountain.

Southern Christian Leadership Conference president and CEO Charles Steele said leaders from the SCLS and two chapters of the local NAACP met with Deal for about an hour Wednesday in his office. The governor was receptive to their message, and he hopes that Deal has the influence if not the authority to stop the memorial from being placed at Stone Mountain, Steele said.

Officials at Stone Mountain have proposed adding a liberty bell to honor King and, “broaden the story told by the park.” Stone Mountain has long been a place of controversy in Georgia. Many people believe the park celebrates racism and that the carving of the three generals should be removed from state grounds.

“We will never agree to any aspect of Dr. King going to Stone Mountain among the confederacy,” Steele said after the meeting. “The confederacy should be once and for all buried in a museum.”

The next step for the civil rights groups is to meet with the park’s governing body to discuss the issue.