Residents weigh in on bill that could protect civil rights, confederate monuments

Confederate Monuments Bill

TIFTON, GA (WALB) - If you damage a confederate memorial in Georgia, you may have to replace it.

“You can’t erase history, even though it’s not a very nice part of history that we generally don’t like to talk about I don’t think removing confederate statues is gonna change anything because you can’t take words out of a history book,” said Allison Brown, Tifton resident.

The state house passed a bill Thursday, saying that anyone who destroys or damages a monument could be liable for triple the cost to repair or replace it. This comes as a shock to some as people across the nation are pushing to get rid of confederate monuments.

“When you look at history, whether you’re black or white, you’re gonna have your views,” said Dillard Jones, Tifton resident.

Senator Jeff Mullis wrote the bill and said it protects history, including civil rights monuments.

There’s a marker that honors a black lynching victim in Lowndes county. The memorial was riddled with bullets and has been shot at least 18 times since 2010.

“I think they need to be protected because it teaches the history of where black people come from as a race,” said Neda Jones, Tifton resident.

Some residents believe the confederate memorials should be protected so children can learn what happened to African Americans.

“If my child one day asks me, if we’re traveling and they ask me, mommy what does this stand for I can pretty much explain to her, this is what it stands for,” said Ebony Brinkley, Tifton resident.

Representative Karen Bennet said the bill protects monuments that continue to inflame and divide our state and act as a reminder of the pain, ill will and shame of slavery.

Some people believe in learning what the monuments mean.

“If this monument here has a good history and has nothing to do with slavery or anything like that, you should keep it. But if it has to do with us trying to understand like, yo they falsified this I mean, [it’s] best to get rid of it,” Tevin Loyd, Tifton resident.

The bill now goes back to the senate to consider house changes.

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