Indeed, Decatur’s likely never been whiter, even back in 1908 when that monument was commemorated.
The last count about two years ago showed 23.2 percent of City Schools Decatur students enrolled in K-12 are black. A 2014 study from the city showed that from 1990 to 2010 Decatur’s total population went from 60 percent to 73.5 percent white while the white population declined nationally over the same period from 80 percent to 72 percent.
Other Sunday speakers include representatives from the Atlanta and DeKalb NAACP, along with emissaries from the Georgia-Latino Alliance for Human Rights, the Black Alliance for Just Immigration, Council on Islamic-American Relations, the Atlanta North Georgia Labor Council and students from Freedom University (a school for undocumented immigrants).
Despite this sprawling spectrum of concerns, Patenaude emphasizes that first and foremost she wants the monument removed to a less public place, like perhaps Decatur’s cemetery.
Decatur Mayor Patti Garrett said recently “there will not be a speedy resolution” to the monument dilemma, with other city and county officials making comparable remarks.
Partly this is due to a complicated and somewhat opaque state law passed in 2001 that appears to prevent a city or county (the Decatur monument is actually owned by DeKalb County) from removing the monument.
“We’ve gotten legal opinions that say there is no prohibition from moving [the monument],” Patenaude said. “The only prohibition is that it can’t be concealed from public view.”
Hate Free Decatur march
When: 6 to 8 p.m. Saunday
Where: It begins on the lawn at the Beacon Municipal Center, 125 Electric Avenue, and ends at the monument in Decatur Square.