The Columbia County commissioners have again changed their tune and reneged on another promise regarding Columbia County's history and heritage.
Let's take a look back, in 2000 Alvin Starks, the Republican Party chairman at the time and a black man with deep roots in Columbia County, put the question of a Confederate monument erected in front of the new Columbia County Justice Center on the Republican primary ballot. He was replaced soon after.
The question on the ballot said:
Question 7: Yes or No: Should Confederate heritage groups be allowed to erect on the grounds of the new Columbia County Justice Center a marker honoring Columbia County citizens who served in the War Between the States (the American Civil War)? Yes: 8,817 - 79.47 percent; No: 2,278 - 20.53 percent. Almost 80 percent of Columbia County voted in favor of the Confederate monument on the new Columbia County Justice Center's front lawn.
But the county had already sealed a deal with the Sons of Confederate Veterans Evans Camp No. 1914 the day of the election before the votes were counted. The county promised that if the name of the monument was changed from "Confederate" to "Civil War" and no Confederate flags would decorate the monument, it would have a prominent location in the Memorial Gardens.
Columbia County commissioners and its committees have indeed discriminated against their own heritage and ignored 80 percent of the voters of Columbia County. I say put the Confederate monument where the people of Columbia County voted to put it in the first place - on the front lawn of the Justice Center.
Woody Highsmith, Evans
The Columbia County News-Times ©2013. All Rights Reserved.