New Orleans has begun the next phase of the removal of its confederate monuments as the city joins a progressive effort to scrub the civil war from America’s memory.
The statues’ removal has been championed by Democrat Mayor Mitch Landrieu.
“There’s a better way to use the property these monuments are on and a way that better reflects who we are,” the mayor said.
Statues to General Robert. E. Lee, General Beauregard and Confederate President Jefferson Davis will be removed in coming days now that legal challenges have been overcome.
“The monuments are an aberration,” New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu said. “They’re actually a denial of our history and they were done in a time when people who still controlled the Confederacy were in charge of this city and it only represents a four-year period in our 1000-year march to where we are today.”
A monument to the Crescent City White League was removed overnight to avoid protesters who do not want any of the monuments displaced. After the Civil War, the White League formed a 5,000-man militia and attempted to overthrow the biracial republican-run Reconstruction government. They occupied government buildings for three days but left as federal troops approached.
The monument is also controversial for the inscription upon it which reads: “United States Troops Took Over the State Government and reinstate the usurpers, but the national election November 1876 recognized white supremacy in the south and gave us our state.”
The monument is a stark reminder of racism in American history but does the removal of such things remove the hatred it symbolizes or just the reminder that it happened?
What purpose does removing the General’s and CFA President’s statues serve? According to a report, democratic party operative and slave museum owner John Cummings will likely be the recipient of the statues.
City Attorney Rebecca Dietz confirmed that Mayor Mitch Landrieu is working with Whitney Plantation Owner John Cummings to relocate the monuments.
Cummings, who is rumored to be the anonymous donor (though he has denied the claim), has been working with Landrieu to create a Civil War Park at the Whitney Plantation property. Cummings currently owns and runs the nation’s first slave museum.
Tucking the monuments away out of every day public view lessens their ability to serve as a constant reminder to all those who pass.
Reading the inscription on the White League statue brings about a sadness, perhaps anger in some. But without it there, who would search out the events that brought about its installation? Who would know that democrats were the white supremacists while republicans sought equity? Perhaps that is more the point.
New Orleans is run by democrats.
As reminders of the confederate south and the civil war are removed from the Crescent City, New Orleans may soon find that the only things drawing tourists to it are Bourbon street and the Casino.