A Proposed Compromise on Stone Mountain

As noted here on Monday, the state-sponsored Confederate celebration that is now unsurprisingly drawing attention is by far the largest: the huge carving on the side of Georgia’s Stone Mountain featuring three Confederate leaders on horseback. The carving has an uncomfortable association, moreover, with the use of Stone Mountain as a site for Ku Klux Klan rallies, meetings and cross burnings over the years.

Now that the Atlanta NAACP has asked that something be done about the carving, the issue won’t easily go away. Sand-blasting it or somehow excising it from the mountain will be expensive and a bit unseemly. Moving it to a museum like a flag is impracticable because the thing is the size of couple of football fields.

So there’s already talking in Georgia of adding something to the carving to offset the Confederate generals–maybe Dr. King, maybe a whole panoply of civil rights figures. But there’s a sardonic idea gaining steam that better reflects mockery of Neo-Confederacy than earnest refutation, coming from artist Mack Williams, who’s helpfully done a rendition of the proposed addition to the carving, and begun a petition, sponsored by MoveOn.org, to the governor and the state legislature:

Here’s what Williams says in the petition:

I believe it’s important to recognize the history and heritage of all Georgians. However, the carving of Davis, Lee, and Jackson on the side of Stone Mountain only represents a small, regrettable time in the history of the Peach State. It’s high time we added a bit more of our history and culture to this monument.

By no means do we wish to erase or destroy the current carving, which, regardless of its context, is an impressive and historic work of art. We simply wish to add new carvings, of Atlanta hip-hop duo Outkast, to the mountainside. There’s plenty of room.

I believe that Daddy Fat Sacks and Three Stacks should be carved riding in a Cadillac (as is their wont). This will help the new carving blend nicely with the Confederates who are on horseback.

Outkast are two of the greatest Georgians in the history of our state. It’s about time the Empire State of the South paid proper tribute to them, while also improving a great monument and tourist attraction.

The proposed addition to the carving is presumably inspired by Outkast’s 1996 hit, “Two Dope Boyz in a Cadillac.

It makes as much sense as commissioning a gigantic neo-Confederate carving on the side of a mountain.

Washington Monthly - Donate today and your gift will be doubled!

Support Nonprofit Journalism

If you enjoyed this article, consider making a donation to help us produce more like it. The Washington Monthly was founded in 1969 to tell the stories of how government really works—and how to make it work better. Fifty years later, the need for incisive analysis and new, progressive policy ideas is clearer than ever. As a nonprofit, we rely on support from readers like you.

Yes, I’ll make a donation

Ed Kilgore

Ed Kilgore is a political columnist for New York and managing editor at the Democratic Strategist website. He was a contributing writer at the Washington Monthly from January 2012 until November 2015, and was the principal contributor to the Political Animal blog.