Speed Reads

confederate controversy

Georgia lawmaker gets in ugly fight with former colleague over Confederate monuments

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.