The state executive who oversees Stone Mountain Park, the 3,200-acre park that glorifies the Confederation and Antebellum South, has selected a company – the only company to have made an offer – to manage Georgia’s most visited attraction.

Why it matters: Stone Mountain is unrelated to the Civil War – no battles were fought there. The mountaintop of Monadnock was the site of the rebirth of the Ku Klux Klan, and activists, residents and visitors have called for the massive tribute to the Confederate generals and the whitewashes of history to be removed.

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  • As a management company, Thrive Attractions Management LLC has no control over the Confederate images on the site, including the world’s largest Confederate monument.

  • But CEO Michael Dombrowski, who has been the park’s manager for years, says his newly formed company will sponsor a new museum that honors Stone Mountain’s history and makes the park more welcoming. (The Stone Mountain Memorial Association board of directors has yet to finalize the deal.)

Context: Herschend Family Entertainment, the long-time private operator of the website, is saying goodbye to Stone Mountain by next summer – in part due to tensions and protests related to the Confederate images.

  • In 1915, the same year work on the sculpture named “Mount Rushmore of the Confederation” began, a group of men climbed the rock, burned a cross, and announced the Second Coming of the KKK.

  • The 2015 murder of nine blacks at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, SC sparked calls for the removal of Confederate images from the park, including the sculpture.

Yes but: State law prohibits the sculpture’s removal, but activists including the Stone Mountain Action Coalition have urged state officials to stop maintenance.

  • Others, including Stacey Abrams, have recommended that the sculpture be completely removed. Another person suggested including Outkast in the sculpture alongside the Confederate generals.

What you say: “I have always told our staff regularly that we will bury everything dark that has ever happened here with a thousand tons of love,” Dombrowski told the AJC. “There is nothing we can do about a stone. But we can do something for the living people and the community in front of this rock. “

The story goes on

  • The Stone Mountain Action Coalition tells Axios that Thrive should help rename streets and lakes named after Confederate generals and a clan leader, campaign for state laws to be passed allowing the park to stop maintaining the sculpture, and other things the images of the Confederates from the laser show remove dimensions.

What’s next: On Monday, the park’s board voted for proposals to create the history museum, the AJC reported. Last May, she agreed to move the Confederate flags waving at the foot of the mountain to a less prominent location.

Thomas Thought Bubble: Stone Mountain Park is one of the most diverse places to visit – ironic given the failed movement it should honor. Put their story in context and celebrate the people who put the Confederation in its rightful place.

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