Editorial roundup: Views from around Georgia

Rome News-Tribune: The helter-skelter run up to the 2022 election season

It’s a three-way war for the governor’s post in Georgia and it’s not likely to be the only scorched earth campaign coming in the 2022 election season.

Candidates got started early across the board now that we’re a battleground state and it looks like that’s our way of life for the foreseeable future.

It’s odd to watch the critics take fire at a governor who has done a pretty decent job given the circumstances of the past couple of years.

The pro-Trump crowd can’t stand him since he refused to illegally overturn a free and fair election. Similar to Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, Kemp is stuck on the bad side of the former president regardless of how much support he gave in the past.

Enter David Perdue.

The former senator announced that he’s set his eyes on Georgia’s top executive post with the backing of former President Donald Trump. Perdue had hinted at it for several weeks and got a bit more scrappy recently on the politicians’ social media platform of choice (Twitter). It’s only surprising that Kemp, who was in Rome recently for a private fundraising event, and Perdue seemed to get along pretty well until recently.

That goodwill appears to have faded.

Stepping away from the Mar-a-Lago cult of personality who appears to be laser focused on taking revenge on Georgia, let’s take a look at what’s coming up.

There’s the Democratic Party hopeful Stacey Abrams. She’s been a political powerhouse after a very slim loss to Kemp for governor in 2018. Take that alongside what appears to be a split Republican Party in Georgia, and she may have a realistic shot at the governor’s post.

The interesting thing in this roundabout is that both Kemp and Perdue appear to not be that interested in each other — but are certainly touting Abrams as a threat. That far-sighted focus is a change from the vicious primaries heading up to the 2020 Senate races here.

What does that portend? Well, they both seem to think Abrams is the real threat and they both feel their base thinks that’s the case as well. They both also seem to think the GOP is on their side.

The primary will tell which one is right and there can be little doubt that the winner will have the full support of the party once that’s decided.

Locally, the big race is for our Congressional seat. Even with the introduction of a large amount of South Cobb Democrats (assuming Kemp approved the redistricting legislation) we feel like U.S. Rep. Marjorie Greene will be here for a second term.

That’s certainly not an endorsement of her rough-and-tumble version of political badgering, support for those who participated in the Jan. 6 insurrection or vague policies. It’s a cynical and, unfortunately for a district without representation for the time being, very possible outcome.

There is the chance that one of her GOP challengers steps up with panache and dethrones her. There’s also the remote chance one of the Democrats could gain a foothold here.

Up to this point most of the Democrat contenders for the 14th District post have seen better fundraising numbers here since ... well, since the GOP gained control of the state a couple decades ago. That’s likely more from Greene’s headline-grabbing style of politics.

Regardless, it’s going to be a scrap in the primary and looks like it will be much the same headed into November as well.

Valdosta Daily Times: Marker recalls racist history; a promise for better future

Mary Turner is an important part of South Georgia history.

The rededication last week of a historical marker to her memory and the Lynching Rampage of 1918 is an important reminder of tragedy in the region’s past.

As one relative suggested during the ceremony, it is a shame that a rededication had to be held. Vandalism marred the original historical marker — so damaged it had to be removed.

And moved. The original marker was located near the spot where the pregnant Mary Turner was brutally lynched on the Lowndes-Brooks county line. The new marker is not at the site but in a more populated, well-lighted area to deter vandalism, near Webb Miller Community Church in Hahira — about five miles from where she was killed.

Both the vandalism and the need to find a different location for a new marker are sad reminders that racism remains ingrained in the fabric of our region.

But the story of Mary Turner is important. The marker is important.

For too many years, Mary Turner and the people killed during the Lynching Rampage of 1918 was a story told in whispers or not told at all.

Until the early 2000s, it was possible to live here for decades or even been born and raised here and not know her story.

The Mary Turner Project, a Valdosta-based program dedicated to researching and publicizing the tragedy, brought her story into the public eye.

By knowing our past, we can learn from our past. By remembering and examining the racist acts in our history, we are better informed to confront racism in South Georgia today.

For these reasons, we continue a call we made earlier this year to place a haunting memorial on the historic Lowndes County Courthouse lawn to remind us of the women and men who tragically lost their lives to racial atrocities, including being publicly lynched.

There are several memorials already on the courthouse square, including one dedicated to the Confederate war dead from the Civil War.

The Legacy Museum’s National Memorial for Peace and Justice in Montgomery, Alabama, offers monuments to areas where lynchings occurred. The monuments are ready. Part of what a region has to do is request it.

The monuments are intended to ensure the South and the nation never forget the thousands of Black Americans who were killed by lynch mobs in the decades after the Civil War.

About 800 six-foot steel monuments hang in the National Memorial for Peace and Justice. They remind us of the brutality that ended in the death of about 4,400 people from 1877 to 1950.

There is a monument available for Lowndes County.

County leaders should request the monument for the courthouse square to remember the people who lost their lives to the injustice of lynching.

To remember the life of Mary Turner and create a legacy that reminds us that what happened to her and others should never be repeated.

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