Posted on November 22, 2013

State Rep. Tyrone Books Cheers Removal of Thomas Watson’s Statue from Georgia Capitol

Atlanta Daily World, November 21, 2013

The statue of Thomas Watson, a Georgia United States Senator in 1920, is being removed from the grounds of the Georgia State Capitol and State Rep. Tyrone Brooks says he’s glad.

“Several years ago, I met a young photojournalist from Creative Loafing, Joeff Davis, who was dedicated to the removal of the statue of Thomas Watson from the grounds of the Georgia Capitol because of Watson’s racist reputation,” said Brooks. “This was his idea and I have been privileged to have worked with him to make this a reality.”

The former U.S. Senator, author, newspaper man, and a self-described white supremacist, Thomas Watson, is being moved from the Georgia State Capitol as a part of a construction program. Gov. Nathan Deal issued an executive order that allows crews to move the 12-foot-tall statue to Plaza Park, a fenced-off, state-owned park across the street.

Davis was instrumental in starting a petition campaign that resulted in getting the attention of the Georgia Governor. {snip}

“We are elated by the proposed removal of the Tom Watson statue and we would like to see the statues of Sen. Richard Russell, Gov. Eugene Talmadge, and Confederate General John B. Gordon also removed from the State Capitol, as well as all the other statues which we consider offensive,” said Representative Brooks. “I link the removal of the Watson statue to the victory in the removal of the 1956 Georgia State Flag. But this is not the end of the situation or the problem. We must continue to petition the Governor and other state leaders that these old racist artifacts must be not only removed from the grounds of the Georgia State Capitol, but replaced by African-American, Native American, and Asian American monuments which represent the Georgia of today.”

In an editorial earlier this year in Creative Loafing, an Atlanta weekly newspaper, Davis wrote that he was inspired to take on the Watson campaign after attending the Moores Ford Bridge Lynching Reenactment press conference that Brooks holds every year underneath the Eugene Talmadge statue. {snip}


The exact removal date and time of the statue of Thomas Watson is not known. “We encourage a celebration on the steps of the capitol when this statue comes down,” said Rep. Brooks.