ATLANTA (AP/WAOK.) — Gov. Nathan Deal has ordered a statue of a controversial Georgia politician and publisher moved from a prominent spot at the Capitol.
Deal signed an executive order this month, saying the Thomas E. Watson statue which sits in the middle of an extensive renovation project should be moved across the street.
The decision is being cheered by groups who say the statue of Watson should not have been greeting visitors at a main Capitol entrance after he stirred up anti-Semitism ahead of the 1915 lynching of Jewish businessman Leo Frank, who had been convicted of killing a 13-year-old girl.
Shelley Rose with the Anti-Defamation League says Deal’s decision sends a “clear message that he will not tolerate the hatred and bigotry that defined so much of Watson’s career.”
State Representative Tyrone Brooks says the Watson statue is not the only one that should be moved from Capitol grounds. He mentioned statues dedicated to former Georgia Governor and U.S. Senator Richard B. Russell and former Georgia Governor Herman Talmadge as two that should also be removed from the state capitol property.
Written By Sherman H. Smith Jr (WAOK/Intern)