Rant: Rome’s image melts down on Twitter. News: Runoff in Floyd sheriff’s race. 74th local virus victim.

Rant: Rome’s image melts down on Twitter. News: Runoff in Floyd sheriff’s race. 74th local virus victim.

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Today’s top headlines:
  • Floyd results: Absentees push Roberson, Caldwell into Aug. 11 runoff for Floyd County sheriff. No changes to other races.
  • Floyd Commission Chair Scotty Hancock calls out Secretary of State who blamed local offices for election chaos: ‘This problem has stemmed from faulty equipment that was provided from your office.’
  • 17th Gordon resident dies from coronavirus; 14 new positive tests in Floyd County in 24 hours; 29 in the region. State death toll at 2,329.
  • Dining: Upon further review, work just starting on Panda Express; wood-frame building at East Bend is Chipotle.
  • Ware Mechanical Weather Center: Mid 80s and comfortable today, upper 80s and sunny throughout the weekend.
  • Obituaries: Robert Walsh Frevert, Mr. James Edward “Jeff” Frost.
  • Truett’s Chick-Fil-A Sports Report: Euharlee Creek Outfitters open today-Sunday for rentals.

RANT OF THE DAY: Twitter uses old images to reopen wounds.

We’re live (almost), local and late today because of what appeared to be breaking news. We just missed getting a speeding ticket en route to Myrtle Hill as we had to check on the status of the Forrest monument. It was still there at 7:30 this morning.

More on that in a minute. Let’s talk about something else that is dividing our communities.

It involves a text that arrived from a colleague in Cartersville on Wednesday evening. It was a forward of a Tweet from one of the nation’s more recognized sports journalists who was fed up with all the racial issues. Her tweet included a video of a demonstration by hate groups in Rome.

A quick check confirmed it was from that rally downtown five years ago and not in the aftermath of the murder of George Floyd. It didn’t matter: the original Tweeter posted it, named Rome, Ga., had no time stamp and here it was being shared by millions of people using the Tweeter machine.

We sent the sports journalist a note telling her the images were old and that the very same event helped spawn One Community United and other groups opposing racism and hatred. It was still there at last check and some 6.2 million people — and counting — had viewed it. That’s not a surprise as the journalist has 1.2 million followers of her own.

But that’s troubling. And it comes a week after a vendor was photographed sitting on top of a Rome Police Department motorcycle and decided to use a photo of that opportunity as he exposed his support for the KKK.

Once again, Rome, Ga.

And then there’s the growing General Forrest statue debate and efforts to remove it from Myrtle Hill at the entrance to South Rome. A local college student started a change.org petition to remove it and has drawn maybe 4,000 signatures so far. Then comes someone from someone in Northeast Georgia who launches a counter petition to leave it in place.

On top of all that, we’re seeing a regular post from someone trying to “Occupy Myrtle Hill” this weekend. This group wants the statue gone and, on this Thursday morning, one of our readers thought the act had been done overnight. That’s why we sped to the cemetery and monument. It was in place and undisturbed from what we can tell.

Is the Forrest statue history or a reminder of racism? That’s to be decided and the debate will grow louder at a Community Development Committee meeting set for this Friday at 10 a.m. that you can watch on the city’s Facebook page.

For now, we dread someone will revisit the Forrest monument — on Twitter — to further hammer Rome’s image.

A shame these Tweeters can’t share more success stories as well, from our community groups to our school sports team to our churches and others that are moving beyond racial boundaries to stress the unit in community.

We can’t erase the images spread on social media. Likewise, those sins of the past remain in history books, especially the appalling allegations of what Forrest reportedly did to captured blacks.

Rome is a better place in 2020 but with many miles to go as well. Our job now is to convince others of that, perhaps one tweet at a time.

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