by Dr. Ed DeVries
In August, the “Rev.” Ferrell Brown, the white pastor of an Atlanta area church, stood atop the wide bald knob of Stone Mountain on a balmy southern Saturday morning. Before him stood an estimated 2,000 people, mostly members of Brown’s church, who had assembled for what I will simply describe as a racial unity stunt. Their Pastor wanted to make it into the newscasts and headlines. He finally did, in October.
According to a report on MSNBC that was picked up by the New York Times, “Rev.” Brown LIED about his family’s history, claiming to be a direct descendant of Nathan Bedford Forrest. This, of course, is impossible since the direct line ended with Gen. N.B. Forrest III (who died in WWII) and his sister, facts that the mainstream sources covering the story would have known if they had bothered to “fact-check,” which obviously they did not. Anyway, according to this “Rev.” Brown his “grandfather” was the founder of the Ku Klux Klan, who, he told the New York Times, “would throw a meal in the trash at a restaurant if he saw a mixed-race couple walk in.” Maybe Brown’s grandfather was that man, but he certainly wasn’t describing Nathan Bedford Forrest.
Anywhoo, as the slobber dribbled down his face Brown told the audience, “I stand here today as a representation of the racism of the white man against African-Americans, against Jews, against Hispanics,” he said. “And I’m asking forgiveness, I’m asking you, I repent. I repent! I’m asking you to forgive!”
So why was MSNBC and the New York Times finally covering an event that had happened months before? Because the Democrat, 44-year-old Stacey Abrams, a former leader in Georgia’s State House of Representatives and also the first black woman in America to win a major party nomination for Governor, had promised that if elected, the monument featuring carved likenesses of General Robert E. Lee, President Jefferson Davis, and General Thomas J. “Stonewall” Jackson on horseback; the Confederate equivalent to Mount Rushmore, would be quickly blown off piece by piece with explosives.
In response, her opponent, Georgia’ s Secretary of State Brian Kemp, assured his fellow Georgians that he opposed the destruction of the State’s most visited landmark.
Even though Kemp won the election, which was a 4-way race, and has been declared the winner, Abrams refuses to concede. Instead, she is demanding a run-off between herself and Kemp without the lesser-party candidates. While Georgia law allows for a run-off if the winner receives less than 50% of the vote, Kemp received 50.33% of the vote according to the Associated Press website. But thousands of new ballots keep magically appearing around the State as fast as the Democrats can manufacture them. The same by the way is happening in Florida and in Arizona. And Abrams is demanding that these newly discovered magic ballots be added to the vote count. It will not take too many fraudulent votes, if counted, to force the run-off.
So the fate of Stone Mountain and the issues of Confederate heritage in Georgia are far from settled. What we do know is that Stone Mountain, with its 3,200 acres of hiking trails, lakes, and Dollywood / Silver Dollar City managed amusement park, is the state’s most visited tourist destination.
As I reported in the Dixie Heritage Letter over the summer, the park has pretty much freed itself of most of its “politically incorrect” trappings and awkwardly negotiates a fine line between commemorating and ignoring the Confederacy.
The park’s gift shops feature Tee-shirts with screenprints of the carving, or that simply state “I climbed Stone Mountain.” Streets, like Robert E. Lee Boulevard and Stonewall Jackson Drive, are still named after Confederate heroes; but the building named Confederate Hall is almost entirely Confederate-free. The exhibits now focusing on the geology and ecology of the Mountain and its surrounding area.
Other exhibits throughout the attraction have not been completely scrubbed to eliminate the War Between the States, but they no longer focus on the Confederacy. They have been rewritten with generic references to “The Civil War,” or when a reference to the Confederacy is unavoidable, there is an obvious effort to add a Northern reference.
One thing is certain, Stone Mountain is by far the world’s largest monument to Confederate heritage. If it goes down, everything smaller (all the rest of them) are sure to follow. Georgia may very-well be GROUND-ZERO in the Heritage War.
- Visit www.dixieheritage.net for a free copy of Dr. Ed’s book The Truth About the Confederate Battle Flag.