Tommy Benton Equates Vincent Fort to ISIS

Senator Vincent Fort has introduced a bill that would prevent the State of Georgia from celebrating holidays that honor the Confederate States of America. This is a debate that we can have in Georgia, but Rep. Benton’s response does not indicate that a thoughtful, high-minded exchange of ideas will be forthcoming.

“That’s no better than what ISIS is doing, destroying museums and monuments,” said Benton, according to the AJC. I am not sure that’s exactly the same thing, but here we are.

The context for this bill and the heated rhetoric is the controversy involving Stone Mountain, and its role in the formation of the Ku Klux Klan was on Rep. Benton’s mind as well. The Klan “was not so much a racist thing but a vigilante thing to keep law and order,” he said. “It made a lot of people straighten up,” he continued. “I’m not saying what they did was right. It’s just the way things were.”

In opposition to Fort’s bill, Rep. Benton has introduced two bills, one to protect the Stone Mountain carving, and the other to restore the Confederate holidays to the state calendar. You may recall that Governor Deal removed Confederate Memorial Day and Robert E Lee’s birthday from the calendar last year.

Senator Fort for his part, seemed inclined to let it alone. “For him to degenerate into that kind of name calling is beneath a response from me,” Fort, D-Atlanta, said.

This is gonna be one heck of a laser show.

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Robbie
Robbie

No one’s ever explained to me well enough why we should have official state holidays to recognize traitors and folks who committed treason.

The Dixie Cheetomonger
The Dixie Cheetomonger

Because it’s our heritage!

Raleigh
Raleigh

Patriots or Traitors depends on your point of view. Just ask King George III and General Gage.

Calypso
Calypso

“Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”

-George Santayana

Andrew C. Pope
Andrew C. Pope

“[The Klan] was not so much a racist thing but a vigilante thing to keep law and order”

We have an early front runner for “dumbest thing said this session.” Sen. Ligon has already called to see if he’ll write the state’s AP US History curriculum.

xdog
xdog

That’s retired middle-school history teacher Tommie Benton.

Lea Thrace
Lea Thrace

Ugh. Just ugh. How many kids has he messed up?!

Ellynn
Ellynn

So… the KKK was trying to keep law and order… over whom? The lawless Catholics and rowdy People of Israel? Because we all know Rabbis are the height of disorderly behavior and the Pope is just a breath away from breaking that ‘There is no God but God’ rule. Otherwise what other reason did they originally have these groups on their “We Hate (fill in the blank)’ list? It’s not like the they were bigots or any thing (typed using sarcasm font). Right?

Saltycracker
Saltycracker

If we traced back multi-generational Georgia folks we will find a lot more clan members in that tree than slave owners. Wouldn’t be surprised to find Inactive Clan membership common with sheriffs and politicians. It would be a rare one that agrees with their people but would honor any of their positive accomplishments.

Who you are is what is within you today and this behavior is not an inherited one. Thankfully.

Dave Bearse
Dave Bearse

The ideas that the Civil War wasn’t primarily about slavery, or the KKK wasn’t about largely about racial oppression, is fodder in influencing GOP-leaning family residing in blue states. They have limited exposure to the crackpot notions that are expressed by leadership when the GOP is in full control.

Benton is a Committee Chairman and a former middle school history teacher, and thus ostensibly mainstream and supposedly educated, not a back-bencher, let alone a crank.