Recent tragic events have lead to a movement in the South to rid itself of public, government-supported displays of Confederate iconography. Most of the fight has focused on the Rebel flag (insert Star Wars joke), but a new petition launched by the Atlanta chapter of the NAACP is taking aim at something a bit harder to take down: The relief carved into Stone Mountain.
The centerpiece of Stone Mountain Park is the mountain itself, featuring a carving of Confederate leaders Jefferson Davis, Robert E. Lee and Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson. While the NAACP wants the thing completely removed, another petitioner on MoveOn.org is seeking a compromise. Mack Williams launched the petition, noting that he believes “it’s important to recognize the history and heritage of all Georgians,” but that the image on Stone Mountain “only represents a small, regrettable time in the history of the Peach State.” Thus, he wants to add OutKast members Big Boi and André 3000 riding a Caddie next to Lee and the boys.
“By no means do we wish to erase or destroy the current carving, which, regardless of its context, is an impressive and historic work of art,” reads the petition. “We simply wish to add new carvings, of Atlanta hip-hop duo Outkast, to the mountainside. There’s plenty of room.”
While clearly a joke, it actually makes a lot of sense. As former Georgia Democrat Ed Kilgore notes, Jackson shouldn’t even be on the mountain to begin with. He was only added because Lee’s real military adjutant, lifelong Georgia native James Longstreet, ended up “supporting voting rights for ex-slaves and backed (and even played a role in) military reconstruction in the South.” Kilgore adds that, “Among other interesting traits, Jackson favored a policy of executing Union prisoners of war, based on his reading of Old Testament precedents. That’s the man up there with Davis and Lee on Stone Mountain.”
So wouldn’t OutKast at least make more sense in terms of positive Georgian influences? Supporters sure think so, as the petition has 804 signatures as of publication. As AJC.com points out, Big Boi himself has endorsed the movement:
Because we know you want to, you can sign the petition yourself below.