Cupid approves another Civil War park in Mableton as Cobb School Board bans Critical Race Theory
For those among us that believed Cobb was a progressive and diverse community that we could be proud to live in, work in, and raise a family, think again as you look at what occurred last week in “progressive Cobb County”. Cobb was in a time warp this week, taking us places we did not want to go with actions taken within a few days of each other. Cobb Chair Lisa Cupid and the commission approved turning property in our Mableton community into another civil war memorial.
Meanwhile, the Cobb School Board approved banning the teaching of Critical Race Theory (CRT) and the 1619Project in Cobb schools. Can you say ass backwards boys and girls?
Cupid knew since 2018 that our community of Mableton was not in favor of naming anything in honor of the Civil War, a war that was fought to keep blacks in slavery. Armed with that knowledge, Cupid championed this vote to honor hateful history in Mableton. Cupid and the board vote yes and turned their backs on our diverse community. They did so after listening to a lone preservationist that lives in the area and a few of her civil war buddies, who do not live in Cobb and should not have a vote on this issue, but they did. They showed up to support and push for something our community does not want. When someone Googles Mableton, Georgia, we want positive adjectives to be listed in describing us, not “home to the preservation of the civil war.” Even one of the civil war speakers were quoted in the MDJ saying ,“Confederate things these days are toxic — we don’t have that situation here,” said Charlie Crawford of the Georgia Battlefields Association, who also spoke for the designation. We were told that Crawford does not live in Mableton or in Cobb County but even he knows that it is toxic to create these memorials in 2021.
The Cobb School Board is also on that time warp as they joined the Georgia Board of Education and Gov. Brian Kemp, in attacking CRT. They voted along party lines to ban it, yet none can provide you a definition of what CRT is or what the 1619 Project says. When came out denouncing it, he was asked to define what CRT is. He directed the media to ask an aide standing nearby what it means. What is scary about this is that they do not know what they are attacking or banning. Because some are, the Cobb School Board is willing to join the crowd instead of thinking about what is best for Cobb students. A sign holder at the recent School Board meeting held a sign that said, “How can you ban what you can’t define?”
Instead of trying to understand what it is, they have chosen the usual route of misinformation as they provide inaccurate meaning to something that could be a tool for better seeking understanding. They have turned CRT and the 1619 project into a platform for negativity, hate, and extremism. These are the same people who claim to promote and support diversity, equity and inclusion. How they really feel is defined by their vote as they see words of inclusion as unpleasant and something that leaves them feeling bad about their privileged history. Within the group that showed up with signs saying ban CRT, I wonder if they could articulate the objective of this teaching. Because politicians want to use it as the latest partisan football, these folks have quickly lined up to be on the team to stop it. People who are afraid of their own shadows and history should not be in the business of administering what happens to our children.
Earlier this year, dozens of Wheeler High School students went before a meeting of the Cobb Board of Education to make their case that their school should no longer bear the name of the confederate general Joseph Wheeler, citing the impact on their fellow students, who are black, who walk the hallways of the school bearing the name of a man who fought to keep slavery in place. The school opened in 1965 bearing and the Confederate general’s name was attached the same year Cobb schools integrated. Last summer, members of the Wheeler Name Change Initiative – – urged board members to rename the school saying “If we can’t even have a discussion about the name of the school, its originations and why it’s not appropriate, how are we going to talk about larger issues we have in Cobb County as a whole?” This is an honest and heartfelt message coming from the mouths of our youth, however, the School Board shows that it is tone deaf on this but somehow found their hearing to hear the “dog whistle” to come together to ban CRT. As I have said before, there is a reason why the word hypocrite is in the dictionary.
About 15 miles northeast of downtown Atlanta sits the largest shrine to white supremacy in the history of the world, Stone Mountain, home to the world’s largest Confederate monument. This state park is known for its controversial imagery, including carvings of Southern generals on the face of the mountain and flags and other symbols of hate that garnish the campus. The Park has a history that is immersed in hatred and is well-known as a gathering place for racist organizations such as the Ku Klux Klan, the country’s first terrorist group who hated, terrorized, and killed Blacks in the wake of the Civil War. Its ugly legacy continues to inspire white nationalists, according to the Stone Mountain Action Coalition, a grassroots activist group dedicated to creating a “more inclusive” park.
Likeminded people recently came together and agreed that changes were needed at Stone Mountain. The Stone Mountain Memorial Association board decided the park would undergo changes and voted to implement several modifications. Among other things, the group approved resolutions to create an on-site exhibit that seeks to tell the truth about the park’s racist pass, creating an educational exhibit about the Ku Klux Klan’s racist ties to the site, renaming the park’s Confederate Hall and a lake currently named for a Klansman, and incorporating acknowledgement of Native American burial grounds on park land.
When it comes to honoring hateful history, Cupid could take lessons from Stone Mountain on her responsibility to all the citizens of Cobb. The people in South Cobb will no longer be overlooked, dumped on, our have our opinions discounted or devalued. We do not want out tax dollars used to promote something that is hurtful to us, so stop funding issues that divide our community. Stop spending our taxpayer monies to support the whims of those who want to create and preserve the Civil War or desire a meet up location for the South to Rise Again. This is not what we should be supporting in 2021.
In his 1963 speech, “I Have a Dream”, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr, envisioned locations that would be free from racial injustice and that the celebration of hateful history would cease as he called out Stone Mountain of Georgia.
“… From every mountainside, let freedom ring.”
We need the freedom bell to ring here in Mableton and Cobb County.