New Orleans may remove long-standing Confederate monuments

10 Dec 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Group collects 31,000 signatures against removal of Confederate monuments in New Orleans.

Mayor Mitch Landrieu has stifled and rushed debate in his effort to banish monuments related to the Confederacy from New Orleans’ landscape, according to City Councilwoman Stacy Head.Opposition to a plan to remove four monuments to Confederate history in New Orleans is growing as the city council prepares to give the final go-ahead on the landmarks’ removal. In an email sent to constituents Tuesday (Dec. 8), Head called Landrieu’s process “flawed,” and said the mayor has behaved as if the statues’ removal were never in doubt. “Although the council has yet to hold its first hearing on whether these monuments should be removed, the administration has apparently already selected some or all of the contractors to perform the work to remove them.

The New Orleans Advocate reports the Monumental Task Committee, a nonprofit group that repairs and maintains monuments in the city, delivered a petition to city officials on Tuesday with more than 31,000 signatures opposing the removal. “New Orleans is known as America’s most iconic city. They have also arranged for their storage in warehouses—a wasteful decision that would make future transportation of these sculptures to private institutions costly and difficult, ” She said. “These actions imply that the decision to remove the monuments is a foregone conclusion.” Head’s condemnation of Landrieu’s handling of the removal process echoes sentiments from many involved in the effort to fight removal. City officials did not attend the meeting, which produced the idea to add interpretive plaques at the four monuments in question – statues of Robert E. The special council meeting will be held a week later at 10 a.m. “All of our offices continue to welcome and receive a large number of constituent comments on this issue. The Battle of Liberty Place is the name given to a bloody coup, ex-Confederates and Confederate sympathizers, against the Reconstruction government of Louisiana.

The three bodies that voted to bless the monuments removal — the Human Relations Commission, the Historic District Landmark Commission and the Vieux Carre Commission — are all made up in whole or in part by Landrieu appointees, which tainted their objectivity in the eyes of many who want to keep the status in place. The report, which cited experts, described the monuments as vestiges of Lost Cause mythology, a revisionist narrative that seeks to portray the southern cause as just and downplays the role of slavery in the Civil War. Erected in 1891 on Canal Street, it commemorates an 1874 attempt by a Democratic Party-allied white supremacist group, aptly named the White League, to seize control of the city government.

McGraw considers the mayor’s public hearing process flawed, noting the two commissions are “stacked with people he appointed.” Even during next week’s City Council meeting, the one to two minutes allowed for public comment per speaker are inadequate for offering alternatives to removing the monuments, he said. Apart from Councilman James Gray, who was not at the meeting when the council voted to hold hearings on monument removal, Head was the only who remained silent on the issue. Councilwoman Susan Guidry said that monuments are more than a history lesson. “There is a distinction that must be drawn between something that is education and something that is history and something that is honored.” Councilwoman Nadine Ramsey: “For anyone who thinks this is an attempt to remove history, it is not.

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