THOMASVILLE, Ga. (WALB) - On Friday, Gov. Brian Kemp signed House Bill 426, or the hate crime bill, into law.
It puts stiffer penalties on crimes related to discrimination and racism.
“We’re better people than that in Georgia,” said Representative Darlene Taylor, who covers Grady, Thomas, and Decatur counties.
She said lady liberty is blind and that’s what we need to be.
She told us we are all one and everyone should be treated equally...no group should be identified or singled out.
“There’s just so many things about this problem that we’re having right now. It’s evil when people act that way. I do think it’s identified now, and it’s a growing problem,” said Representative Taylor.
Representative Taylor said this is a growing problem on both sides.
She said extremes to the right or left in any political dispute are always wrong, and there’s no way to make it right.
“We need to frankly love one another, ignore the evils, and come together. That’s what this country has always done, and I’m prayerful that we will do it again,” Representative Taylor told us.
Adena Robison lives in Colquitt County.
She gave us her view on where she wants to see her community and nation go moving forward.
“I don’t like hate crimes specifically because I’m a religious woman, and I don’t think it’s right. The Lord says ‘Love thy neighbor', and he created all of us,” said Robison.
Robison told us it’s time to stop fighting and having hate against each other.
She believes passing this bill is a step in the right direction.
“Something needs to be done. Too many lives are on the line,” Robison told us.
”An individual has not started living until he can rise above the narrow confines of our individual concerns,” said Representative Taylor.
That was part of a quote from Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
We did not find anyone who wanted to speak against the new law.
Representative Taylor also mentioned that 100 years ago, her grandmother couldn't vote...so that goes to show our state and nation has seen change for the better, and we can continue to do so.
She said we need to look at the broader concerns of all of us.