Opinion: The perfect day for Georgia to introduce a statue to the world

The new statue of Martin Luther King Jr., sculpted by Martin Dawe, was unveiled Monday in its spot on the Georgia Capitol grounds. (Kyle Wingfield photo)

People of faith are fond of observing that the Lord provides all we need in His own perfect timing, if not necessarily the timing we’d have chosen ourselves. And so it is with the statue of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. unveiled on the grounds of Georgia’s State Capitol earlier today.

Coming 54 years to the day after King delivered his “I Have a Dream” speech in Washington, D.C., 49 years after his assassination in Memphis, 31 years after his birthday was first observed as a federal holiday, and three years after the bill authorizing its creation was signed into law, the placement of a statue in his honor outside the Gold Dome is long overdue. But this timing is perfect in that it comes when racial tensions are high and a debate over the monuments we erect to remember our history is heated.

The program may have opened with a rendition of “Georgia on My Mind” by Timothy Miller, but it was clear Charlottesville was also in the thoughts of many of those assembled for the occasion.

There were the references by the speakers to the events of two weeks ago, when white supremacists clashed with “antifa” counter-protesters. There was also the overwhelming security presence, starting with the closure of nearby streets and quite literally topped off by the armed personnel monitoring the festivities from the Capitol’s rooftop. It’s safe to say state and local officials were taking no chances with the possibility of a disruption, or worse.

In the end, however, the event showed off the best of us.

Black Democrats and white Republicans took turns honoring King and calling for our better angels to prevail in this tense environment. Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed noted the statue — “in the shadow of the Gold Dome, on Martin Luther King Jr. Drive, across the street from Liberty Plaza” — would “add depth and an essential balance to the story of Georgia” as told on its Capitol grounds. House Speaker David Ralston pointed out that while “too many yesterdays have slipped by for us, yesterdays we can never reclaim or change,” we should keep in mind that “from them we can grow and learn.” Gov. Nathan Deal said it revealed “the evolved mindset of our state” as we “continue to reconcile our history and our hearts.”

But it was King’s daughter, the Rev. Bernice King, who made the most explicit mention of timing. “This day is no accident,” she said. “It had to happen on this day, at this time, with everything happening in this nation.”

If anyone missed the providential nature of holding this event on this day, the air was supernaturally cool and breezy for late August in Atlanta. That in itself was a blessing for all who chose to spend a couple of hours outside to honor a man whose legacy still points to the way we should engage, challenge and ultimately abide with one another.

Reader Comments 0

110 comments
JohnnyReb
JohnnyReb

@McGarnagle

Much to do over nothing but not surprising that the TV channel owned by the same folks who own the AJC would dig into the past to disparage an officer for making an off-cuff comment.

McGarnagle
McGarnagle

@JohnnyReb @McGarnagle 

Yet it was picked up by a conservative national news outlet. I am glad they dig into it as the comments were inappropriate on or off-cuff.

JohnnyReb
JohnnyReb

The hate group Southern Poverty Law Center has received at least 3 million dollar donations lately.

Apple, former Wall St CEO, and George Clooney.

The SPLC lost their credibility in the late 80's when their entire law staff resigned over their change in direction.

They ride on their past glory as they spread hate and discontent singling out anyone who does not agree with their radical ideology.

Trump may be having a difficult time draining the swap...

But he sure is doing a good job exposing the swap critters. 

breckenridge
breckenridge

Fox News Poll: Voters' mood sours, 56 percent say Trump tearing country apart

About two-thirds of Republicans feel Trump is drawing the country together (68 percent), while 15 percent say tearing the country apart and 18 percent are unsure. Nearly all Democrats (93 percent) and over half of independents (59 percent) say Trump is tearing the country apart.

===========================================

Forget what democrats think.  Forget what republicans think.  It is the independents - 40% of all voters - that carry the big stick.

JohnnyReb
JohnnyReb

@breckenridge

The MSM is tearing the country apart, not Trump.

And since MSM is the leader of the Democratic Party, it is the Dims who are tearing the country apart as they demonstrate being the sore loser of all time.

breckenridge
breckenridge

Today Trump said that Congress will make a comeback.  And that's true, literally anyway, Congress will be back in session next week.

But the majority, at least in Senate, will not be dedicating themselves to the agenda of this weak and ineffective president.  Trump started a fight with Senate republicans, and it's a fight he is losing in a big way.  Trump is destined to end up alone, a man (a piss-poor excuse for a man at that) without a party.

JohnnyReb
JohnnyReb

@breckenridge

Your bile would be better received at Bookman's.

Most Americans want tax reform, it will happen with or without Dim help.

And just to point out how out of touch  you are with Repubs, its a full year away from the Arizona Repub primary but as of today Flakes challenger leads by over 20%.

Flake is toast.

Starik
Starik

@JohnnyReb @breckenridge Most do want tax reform. We'll see what Trump proposes... I'm a terrible cynic, but I expect Trump and his Wall Street buds will do very well.

breckenridge
breckenridge

@JohnnyReb @breckenridge 

How very foolish.


Donald Trump cares only about one person - Donald Trump. And in the end it will be the sane, logical and practical conservatives that dominate the party.

stogiefogey
stogiefogey

@breckenridge "...a man...without a party."

He never really had a party, any more than Sen. Sanders had a party.

Each co-opted the party brand with the closest ideology to avoid having to run as an independent.

JohnnyReb
JohnnyReb

@breckenridge @JohnnyReb

Geezzzuuuusssshhhhh

Trump spent his own money in the campaign.

He is not taking the presidential salary.

He gave up controlling his business to be president.

He's over 70 and working almost 24 hours a day.

But you say he does not care for the country.

Truth is, you do not care for his policies.

You lost the election.

The country does not want what you want.

Get over it.

Caius
Caius

@JohnnyReb @breckenridge Trump's problem with tax reform is the same as it was with healthcare, his WH will not send a bill to Congress.  They rely on Congress to write a bill from scratch.

Congressional history proves presidents are more successful getting their programs through when they send their bills to Congress.

Presidents have to lead.  President Trump has not attempted to lead Congress but has over and over threatened and attempted to force Congress to do his will. Has not worked in the past 228 years and probably will not work this year.


Can't figure out why Democrats would be upset if a sitting Republican senator (Flake) is defeated. Their odds are historically better if it is an open seat instead of an incumbent seat.


FIGMO2
FIGMO2

Where is Dr. King's mustache? It's not a good likeness without the mustache.

I guess it's hard to cast a 'stache. 

PARHAM v JR
PARHAM v JR

Where is the Jim Jones appreciation section at the "Carter Center"?

PARHAM v JR
PARHAM v JR

From Jim Jones to Antifa. Beware of the "Dixie Cups".

breckenridge
breckenridge

Ted Cruz is taking some heat because he voted against the Hurricane Sandy relief bill, but now he's all for a Hurricane Harvey relief bill. 

But the reason Cruz voted against the Sandy bill is because it was loaded up with extras - call them earmarks, or call it pork, call it what you will.  This sort of thing needs to go away.  Pass a law that says money in disaster relief bills and the like can only be used directly for the purpose intended.

JohnnyReb
JohnnyReb

@breckenridge

Another law, huh?

How about just plain old common sense and primary out the grifters?

breckenridge
breckenridge

@JohnnyReb @breckenridge 

Well the same damn thing happens every year with the annual budget.  The budget gets completed, and approved, and at the 11th hour, right before it goes to the president's desk for signature, a bunch of earmarks are slipped in.  Earmarks that are often written by lobbyists. And of course they're done at the last minute to avoid scrutiny.

How 'bout a law that says all budget items must be submitted 72 hours before the budget is sent off to the president? Give the budget hawks (if there are still any around) time to go in and whack out the garbage slipped in by the stupid loser lobbyists.

bu22
bu22

@breckenridge @JohnnyReb  The problem is they act like lawyers and don't do anything until the last second.  So they end up with an omnibus bill that nobody understands.  We need a law that Congress doesn't get paid if they don't pass the 12 appropriation bills individually on a certain schedule.  Have timelines on the intermediate steps.

Caius
Caius

@breckenridge Factually incorrect.  One bill did include a lot of "extras" and Cruz objected to it.  So did others. 

It was pulled and another bill substituted. The bill that finally passed was over 90% Sandy.  Cruz still voted against it.


BuckeyeGa
BuckeyeGa

@breckenridge  there seems to be some discrepancy about what the pork is...reportedly things like a daycare hurt by Sandy is considered pork..

breckenridge
breckenridge

@Starik @Caius @breckenridge 

Ted Cruz is hated and reviled by Senate republicans. But at least he isn't a little punk that runs around publicly badmouthing those republicans he doesn't agree with.

breckenridge
breckenridge

Trump is scheduled to give a talk today, a promo, on the nonexistent tax reform bill.  I'm all in favor of revenue neutral tax breaks for the middle class. As far as the very wealthy? They can roll around in the cat box as far as I'm concerned.  They care nothing about how much you pay in taxes, and there is no reason you should care about them.  It's a dog eat dog world.


Some will argue trickle-down, but that is a false philosophy.  The wealthy have all the cars they'll ever want and have done all the kitchen remodeling they'll ever need.  Tax cuts for the wealthy do not stimulate the economy.  On the other hand........give the extensive middle class 500 bucks or so and many, if not most, will go out and spend at least some it.  And that's how you stimulate the economy.

JohnnyReb
JohnnyReb

@breckenridge

Where did you learn economics, at MSNBC?

Almost half of wage earners pay no federal income tax.

Who do you think are carrying the load now, certainly not the 47% paying no federal taxes.

And you show your true thoughts in your post.

"give" the middle class....

More give, more free stuff on the backs of the producers.

But that aside, the proposed tax cuts do help the middle class.

You and your kind should be more worried about what you can contribute to this country and earn for yourself instead of what you can take from someone else.

breckenridge
breckenridge

I caught up with an old college buddy over the weekend.  He had an extended business trip to Europe earlier this year that took him to five different countries.  And in each of those countries he was asked a version of the question "What is wrong with you Americans? How could you elect such an idiot as president?"


It was a choice between two horrible candidates, and a few more people in significant locations thought Trump a bit less horrible. That's all.

JohnnyReb
JohnnyReb

@breckenridge

Trump is not near the horror you, your friend or the Euros perceive.

The blame for the misconception rests entirely on the Left and especially MSM who have painted him horribly in their resistance.

Other countries rely almost entirely on media, so why would they not think he's horrible.

A pox on all of you.


breckenridge
breckenridge

@JohnnyReb @breckenridge 

No, it's not the media. It's Trump's own word, especially his tweets, that are responsible for the way he is perceived.

But if you want to blame it on the big bad media then knock yourself out.

JohnnyReb
JohnnyReb

@breckenridge @JohnnyReb

You people are nuts and responsible for the great growing divide.

You cant win at the ballot box.

Hillary lost, get over it and stop tearing the country apart with your spin and lies.

JohnnyReb
JohnnyReb

It must have something to do with the eclipse....

Nancy Pelosi has publicly condemned Antifa. 

bu22
bu22

@MotocrossSurvivor @breckenridge @JohnnyReb  Total difference.  Diane Feinstein is very liberal, but is vastly more intelligent and cares more about America than Pelosi who only cares about party.  She has more than a shred of decency.

JohnnyReb
JohnnyReb

Rick Santorum, a good a descent family man very knowledgeable and capable especially on foreign policy, who was attacked by the gays for his social beliefs, has been working with Lindsey Graham on a plan to replace Obamacare with block grants to states.

States would have to use the money on healthcare, unable to use elsewhere, would have the freedom to setup their own plans including single payer, etc. if they so desired.

The Feds would not control, states would control their own plan.

The money for the block grants would come from keeping most of the taxes in Obamacare but mandates would not be allowed.

The bill puts parity in the system across states, for example under Obamacare 4 states get 40% of the money - New York, California, Maryland, and Massachusetts although they are only 20 percent of the population. - Breitbart

SGTGrit
SGTGrit

@JohnnyReb 

A very good plan. Give this to each state to decide and get the federal government out of it.

JohnnyReb
JohnnyReb

@SGTGrit @JohnnyReb

Not sure why those four deeply blue states are getting more money than the population warrants but on the surface it looks like more Dim shenanigans to buy votes.