Georgia House Votes to Place Privately Funded Statue of MLK at Capitol

Online Athens, March 4, 2014

Support was overwhelming Monday in the Georgia House for putting a privately funded statue on the grounds of the state Capitol honoring Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., who grew up a few blocks away.

There was little debate before the 173-3 vote. Only Rep. Tommy Benton, R-Jefferson, raised the point that the other people commemorated with statues on the grounds had either served as elected governors, senators or both.

The sponsor of House Bill 1080, Rep. Calvin Smyre, D-Columbus, said while King was never elected, he is the only Georgian honored with a national holiday and one of two to have received a Nobel Peace Prize. {snip}

“This will be the most significant tribute paid to Dr. King since President Reagan signed the holiday into law because we will be honoring him in his home,” said Rep. Tyrone Brooks, D-Atlanta, and a one-time aide to King. {snip}


[Editor’s Note: Just recently, Gov. Nathan Deal ordered the statue of US Senator Tom Watson removed from the Georgia State Capitol. Blacks had long lobbied for its removal, arguing Watson was “racist.” Republicans have a 119-60 majority in the Georgia House.]

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