A handful of Confederate monuments have come down across Georgia. Now, a local group plans to boycott the crane companies that removed them.
“These companies have shown the sacrifices these veterans made is of no value when compared to a quick buck,” leaders with the Georgia Division of the Sons of Confederate Veterans said in a release announcing the boycott Sunday. “All is for sale. They have sold themselves out to these liberal municipalities and county governments.”
The group has called on its 33,000-plus members to quit doing business with the two companies hired to remove monuments in Athens-Clarke, Dekalb, Henry and Rockdale counties.
Roper & Sons has relocated statues in Rockdale and Henry counties, and was tapped by Covington city officials in July to remove a Confederate memorial statue from the city square, according to the Henry Herald. Superior Rigging & Erecting Company of Atlanta was hired by Dekalb and Athens-Clarke counties to remove monuments there, the newspaper reported.
The Sons of Confederate Veterans criticized the companies for dismantling “Georgia’s Veterans Monument in the dark of night” and discouraged contractors, vendors, construction professionals and others from using their services in the future.
“This Boycott is no reflection on the hard-working men and women who are the operators, riggers, shop mechanics and drivers for these crane companies,” the group wrote, saying it wouldn’t hold those employees liable for “the greedy actions of their bosses.”
“It is unfortunate that these crane companies have placed their employees in this position just to make a fast buck,” the group said. “Many of these monuments were erected by mothers, wives, sisters and daughters to honor their lost loved ones. Many of these fine employees are veterans themselves or descendants of veterans.”
At least four confederate monuments have been removed in Georgia amid renewed scrutiny over Civil War-era symbols sparked by the in-custody death of George Floyd, an unarmed Black man killed on Memorial Day by Minneapolis police when an officer knelt on his neck for about eight minutes as three other officers failed to intervene.
Several monuments are still standing, however, with the Peach State having more Confederate statues and memorials on public property than any other state, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center. Georgia is also home to Stone Mountain, the nation’s largest Confederate monument.
The state leads with 114 memorials honoring Confederate soldiers, followed by Virginia with 110 and North Carolina with 97, the organization said.
It’s unclear how much support the Sons of Confederate Veterans boycott has gained, however, comments left on the group’s Facebook page suggest traction may be slow.
“Boycotting is a weak but feel good/virtue signaling effort that — unless done be millions of people across America or the majority of the clientele of a business, has zero effect,” one user commented.
“I’m more concerned about the politicians who voted for removal,” wrote another. “Serious discussion is needed with them.”