Georgia State Rep. Jason Spencer (R) either warned or threatened a former colleague, LaDawn Jones (D), that she faced grave harm if she traveled to south Georgia and called for the removal of Confederate monuments. Jones, who is black and represented an Atlanta district from 2012 to 2016, responded to a Facebook post Spencer had written Monday about visiting a monument to Jefferson Davis, saying she hoped tax dollars weren't going toward memorializing the president of the Confederacy.
Things went downhill from there, with Spencer warning Jones that if she visited his part of Georgia, she "won't be met with torches but something a lot more definitive," adding that "people in south Georgia are people of action, not drama," and troublemakers from Atlanta "will go missing in the Okefenokee," a swamp. Spencer told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution that he wasn't threatening Jones, just offering a "warning to her of how people can behave about this issue." He also insisted the newspaper run a photo he sent of himself standing next to a new statue of Martin Luther King Jr.
Jones told the Journal-Constitution that she sat next to Spencer in the Georgia House for four years, and they developed a "unique relationship," but not an unfriendly one. "If it were anybody other than Jason Spencer, then I would be alarmed" and "take it as a serious threat," she said. But she was still a little "concerned," Jones added. "Because if that's representative of what people in south Georgia think, then yikes." You can read their whole exchange at The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Peter Weber
Confederate statues aren't just in the South, and a monument to Confederate veterans in the heart of Hollywood was quietly removed Wednesday morning.
At 3 a.m., workers at Hollywood Forever cemetery took out a 6-foot granite memorial, erected more than 90 years ago, which stood near about 30 graves of Confederate veterans and their families. Following the violent white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, the cemetery received hundreds of calls and letters from activists calling for the monument's removal, as well as threats from others who said they would vandalize it, the cemetery's chief financial officer told the Los Angeles Times. "We felt we could no longer keep it safe here," Yogu Kanthiah said.
The monument is owned by the Long Beach chapter of the United Daughters of the Confederacy, which decided to take it down after being contacted by Hollywood Forever, and the memorial will sit in storage for now. Most people didn't know about the Confederate section of the cemetery before the Times published an op-ed by history professor Kevin Waite on Aug. 4, which went into detail about the history of Confederate sympathizers and veterans that lived in California; they felt so comfortable in the state that the only Confederate veterans rest home outside of the South was in San Gabriel, and when the residents died, they were buried at Hollywood Forever. Catherine Garcia