Consensus: In response to “Mayor Bottoms, tear down this statue!”

Photo courtesy of Matt Siciliano-Salazar, The Signal

The Technique Editorial Board stands with GSU’s The Signal in calling for the relocation of the new Henry Grady monument. Figures like Grady with white supremacist ideals — regardless of their positive impact on the city — should not be remembered without the historical context that museums and history centers provide. However, legislative roadblocks written into law under the new governorship make this easier said than done. 

“Just because it is the law, doesn’t mean it is right,” writes The Signal in an editorial on the matter. “Mayor, unless you believe Henry Grady continues to embody the values and character of our great city, we and the below signatories firmly advocate that this monument be removed from the public square and relocated to the grounds of the Atlanta History Center.”

But recent legislation disallows this type of relocation. According to The Signal, “The law, Georgia Senate Bill 77, states that no monument ‘shall be relocated, removed, concealed, obscured, or altered in any fashion by any officer or agency.’ This means that, barring ‘appropriate measures’ for preservation or a need for relocation due to construction, no one can move this statue — at least not legally.” 

As such, the Technique joins The Signal in urging students to call on our representatives to lobby for this action to take place as soon as possible to ensure that this statue represents its proper place in history. Mayor Bottoms is in the perfect position to do so, having already “[renamed] Confederate Avenue to United Avenue” and “[erected] plaques adjacent to Confederate monuments that provide historical context.” 

We agree that Mayor Bottoms, as well as other Georgia legislators, must continue to contextualize our history by removing and relocating monuments highlighting figures with racist histories, and uplift figures that represent the true identity of multiculturalism and acceptance.