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LETTER: Reader petitions BOC to abandon quest to remove monument

Dear Editor:

One of the things that has bothered me the most about the monument situation is the idea that a single sitting board of commissioners (presumably elected for a variety of reasons besides being art or social critics) should be able to immediately execute the dismantling of commemorative statuary and art that existed long before they were born and took office. Just four people voted to remove the monument, under the 100% false pretense it was under risk to be damaged by vandals. Open record requests prove there were never any threats made, the mention of threats came three weeks after the vote to remove the monument. 

Truth Is — They Lied and needed a reason to cover their vote to break the law. 

The Facts Prove That.

If the monument does get removed, Ga. Law 50-3-1 will be violated by those commissioners that voted to remove, as well as county ethics rules of breaking this state law. If successful in the removal, the three current commissioners and one previous commissioner, as well as Newton County itself, will be subject to lawsuits because the Sovereign Immunity they feel they had as protection, ended on Dec. 31, 2020. 

Yes, they all will be sued for their actions in breaking the law, and their legal defense will be their’s to pay for. These lawsuits will happen, and they (and Newton County Govt.) will also be personally liable for state penalties and fines as well.   

Fact: A majority of citizens in this community do not want the monument removed, only a few power grabbing leaders do. Many of these elected leaders and their puppeteers proudly and openly boast and take credit for their agenda.

Monuments and immovable art were designed to inspire future generations to examine them — perhaps with admiration but more likely with curiosity and perhaps astonishment and occasionally scorn. The judgment can change as the decades and centuries pass. 

That’s exactly the point to be made. 

History can’t be changed by removal of monuments — society must learn from our past to embrace the future, a future of society’s continued quest for equality.

Covington used to be a center of important people and important decisions, a thriving Southern town, and its landscape today should absolutely reflect that history. After a long decline of limited local citizens shopping and enjoying the downtown area, the Downtown Square has returned to be a thriving place to visit and enjoy. To shop - eat - enjoy music, and more. On a recent Saturday, the square was packed with visitors, 48-plus vehicle tags parked around the Square were not from Georgia. Visitors enjoying our beautiful park-like Square, so rich in history. Visitors having their picture made standing with the monument in the background. At prom and graduation time, students of every skin color flock to have pictures made on the Square and with the monument. Tourism in Covington equals money. Movie crews filming in town equals money.

The idea of “adding to” rather than “subtracting from” was an idea the BOC members refused to consider. Why are these commissioners so against adding another monument or statue? 

Why not add a statue of MLK or a Newton County native that helped the premise of equality? In our modern self-righteous vindictive society that likes to masquerade as enlightened, conscious, yet also rabidly emulating every mob of arrogant radicals in history.                                   

For the record: All lives matter — All history, of every member of society of every skin color ... all matter in today’s society. The commissioners should represent all citizens of Newton County, not just those that want the monument removed. Their actions are clearly biased, and to be honest, racially motivated. We have been told some commissioners have openly stated they want all county leadership positions to be filled with people of color, including county manager, county legal team, and more. County leaders must stop using a racial agenda in their job of running Newton County. Equality is what society has worked for 50-plus years. “One Newton” should promote equality. 

Are we really empowering the ever changing agenda of increasingly undistinguished and hyper partisan elected officials to instantly lay waste to the work and cultural heritage of previous generations? Yes we are. 

It seems very unwise to continue allowing this from elected leaders.

I can see a time very soon when the citizens must oust the liberal mindset of “your history and heritage is offensive and must be removed while ours must be made front and center.”

That agenda is fueling more race division, not promoting equality in our local society.

A constant race to discredit and destroy everyone that the side currently in power hates? 

Because I promise that’s what’s already happening. Is that what we as citizens want?

Let’s be clear — the removal of the monument is not about to unify our society. It is a power play of revenge against Southern heritage. The monument is not about slavery, it honors those that died during the war, common people of every skin color, and these common people did not own slaves. This revenge against Southern heritage is reversing the equality MLK worked so hard for.

Many of the progressive Democrat policies being advanced right now with the Taliban type removal of historical art and statuary that has been in place over 100 years is wrong. 

Our current leaders are sowing the seeds of discord for generations to come. 

It seems today’s political and cultural wisdom is not on display anywhere in modern America and this mindset of immediate self-righteousness, like the hands of a ticking clock, will inevitably come back around. 

Somehow I think the verdict of future generations on our current leaders will be equally unkind — and yet ironically more accurate than today’s judgment of the past.

Save the monument on the Covington Square — stop elected leaders over reach of power.

Let’s petition the BOC to abandon their quest to remove the monument by proving their agenda is in no way representing all the citizens on Newton County. Bring the county residents together with positive leadership, and stop creating more racial division, in their quest for more power.

Bill Nash

Local Business Owner