By: Pat Austin
SHREVEPORT – The city of New Orleans is generally a city of laid-back attitudes and a live-and-let-live sort of philosophy, however you’d be hard pressed to find that attitude on the city council, apparently.
Liberal Democrat mayor Mitch Landrieu is on a mission to wrap New Orleans in a blanket of political correctness and has garnered enough support from the City Council to begin his campaign to rewrite history in the South. In a 6-1 vote last week, the council supported Landrieu’s motion to remove three historic Confederate monuments in New Orleans.
Prior to the vote, the arrogant and pompous Landrieu had already lined up contractors to remove the monuments. Fortunately, his plans have at least been temporarily halted by a federal lawsuit filed by four organizations concerned about historic preservation.
In fact, all New Orleans residents should be concerned about preserving these monuments. They reflect an important part of the city’s involvement in the Civil War, one of the most influential periods of our nation’s history. Removing the monuments will not destroy the evils of slavery. It will not give equal rights to African Americans or other minority groups. It is only a feel good gesture that is being pushed by a Mayor who is using the issue to promote his political career.
It is absurdity in its highest form.
In a statement, Landrieu said “These symbols say who we were in a particular time, but times change. Yet these symbols — statues, monuments, street names and more — still influence who we are and how we are perceived by the world.”
Not everyone in New Orleans supports this nonsense; there is a petition calling for Landrieu’s recall. Many in New Orleans wish Landrieu would focus more on the rampant crime, the steadily climbing murder rate, and the fact that the city has lost 500 officers since Landrieu took office in 2010.
Shortly after Landrieu signed the ordinance to remove the offending monuments, a federal lawsuit was filed halting Landrieu’s plans to erase history:
Hours after Mayor Mitch Landrieu signed a controversial ordinance to declare four Confederate monument public nuisances, a group of preservationists filed a federal lawsuit looking to stop their removals before they can begin….“The Lee Monument, the Beauregard equestrian monument, the Jefferson Davis monument and the Liberty Monument were explicitly erected to preserve, foster and promote the historic and cultural origins of the citizens of New Orleans and the residents of Louisiana,” the suit reads.
Where in the world will it end? As I wrote in this space last week, this offended culture that we live in has reached new extremes. Must we now rename and remove everything that might offend some group? If that’s the case let me start the list: I’m offended by a whole lot of things right now.
The City of New Orleans is a cultural treasure with a rich and varied history. It boggles the mind to think what New Orleans would look like if we went through and erased everything that might offend someone there.
Mitch Landrieu, like his sister Mary, is a self-promoting, arrogant, and ignorant liberal who is motivated by some misplaced idea of the Landrieu legacy and their own self-importance.
As sad as it would be to remove these landmark monuments, the bigger concern to me is where will it end? I’ve lived in the South all of my life and it is MY history, my culture, my heritage. I was taught to preserve history, to protect those monuments, restore historic homes, preserve legends, stories, documents, books, and memories that all weave together to make us who we are as individuals and as a culture. It’s not all pretty; you take the good with the bad. That is the case everywhere.
I guess Landrieu and his ilk wants us all to live in an Orwellian vanilla Big Brother land where one city looks like another and nobody’s feathers are ruffled, where there are no differences, no individuality, all the lines are blurred. Why would anyone want to come to New Orleans if it looks just like everywhere else? What are we offended by next? Mardi Gras? Crawfish? St. Louis Cathedral? The street cars? Boudin?
Mitch Landrieu ran for, and was elected to, the office of Mayor of a large, culturally diverse Southern city. It’s time he acted like he had some pride in the city that put him into office.
Pat Austin blogs at And So it Goes in Shreveport.