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Old 11-14-2006, 10:39 AM   #1
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Georgia Courthouse Display Divides Veterans By Race

I think this raises an interesting question-should we eliminate something like this because it's racist even though it is a truthful and historic reflection of our racist history? Does it not belong in public?

(AP)BUTLER, Ga. - A display in a central Georgia community divides the names of 800 local veterans into two lists, marked in large type: “Whites” and “Colored.”

The display has been in the lobby of the Taylor County courthouse since 1944, honoring service members who fought in World War II. The two lists are mounted side by side behind glass in two large frames.

John Cole Vodicka, an activist from Americus, is organizing a rally Monday at the courthouse to persuade the county commission to take down the display.

They can’t obviously be proud of the fact that the plaques continue to stay on the wall,” he said.

In January, the Taylor County Commission unanimously decided to create an “integrated” list, with all the names together, along with additional names that weren’t in the display designed before the war ended.

But the commission also decided to leave the “Whites” and “Colored” lists up in the lobby of the building.

“If we erase everything we find offensive or don’t like, then it may happen again,” said Sybil Willingham, chairwoman of the county’s Historic Preservation Commission.

“The two existing lists are not to be taken down because it’s against the law and it’s historic,” she said, citing a law that makes it unlawful for people to “mutilate, deface, defile, or abuse” public monuments honoring servicemembers.

Cole Vodicka said the county could ask for an exemption from the law and move the segregated display to a museum.

“Our position has never been to suppress history,” he said. “It is an important part of the Southern history. Our position is the plaques don’t belong in a public place.”
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Old 11-14-2006, 10:43 AM   #2
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Hmm...interesting question. I mean, I could see it in a museum, but a courthouse??
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Old 11-14-2006, 10:47 AM   #3
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Another point I'd like to make is I really doubt something like this would happen up north. I sadly know of some people who wouldn't see it as a lesson learned from history, but would instead get nostalgic about their past.

That's why I think it being in a courthouse is not such a hot idea.
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Old 11-14-2006, 11:23 AM   #4
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They should remove the segregated list. It's a disgrace and an embarrassment to the community. If I lived in that town I'd raise holy hell over it.
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