Southern Christian Leadership Conference, NAACP Voice Opposition to State Approved Plan for King Monument at Confederate Site, Stone Mountain

Martin Luther King Jr. and Ralph Abernathy (Photo: USA Today)
Martin Luther King Jr. and Ralph Abernathy
(Photo: USA Today)

A civil rights group co-founded by the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. is saying “no” to a memorial for him at Stone Mountain.

The Southern Christian Leadership Conference and the Atlanta and DeKalb branches of the NAACP said Tuesday that they oppose placing a tribute to King near the figures of three Confederate leaders engraved on the mountain outside Atlanta. Leaders of the organizations said they will meet Wednesday with Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal to discuss the issue.

The state has OK’d a plan to place a bell at the top of Stone Mountain in honor of King’s call in 1963 to “let freedom ring from Stone Mountain of Georgia” during his “I Have a Dream” speech.

The head of the SCLC says that instead, he wants Confederate symbols gone from Stone Mountain.

“I’m not in agreement with that,” said Charles Steele Jr., president and CEO of the SCLC. “I don’t think it should be at Stone Mountain. We are in support of all symbols of the Confederacy to be removed throughout this country.”

Members of the Sons of Confederate Veterans have also said they don’t think Stone Mountain is an appropriate place to honor King’s civil rights legacy.

Stone Mountain is, by state law, designated as a Confederate memorial. The carving is the largest relief sculpture in the world, beating out Mount Rushmore.

Critics repeatedly have called for removing the images of Confederate President Jefferson Davis, General Robert E. Lee and General Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson on horseback, and renewed those efforts following June’s mass shooting that killed nine members of a historic black church in Charleston, S.C.

SOURCE: USA Today / WXIA-TV, Atlanta – Doug Richards