By: Pat Austin
SHREVEPORT (327 miles from NOLA) – We knew it was coming, we just didn’t know which one. As promised, New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu began the process of removing historic monuments in the city last night.
They came in the dead of night wearing body protection gear and masks; the license plates were removed from their trucks. The company name was covered with tape and cardboard. Snipers loomed nearby in a parking garage. Men in a cherry picker were lifted to the top of the monument and began the process of drilling into and dismantling in sections the Liberty Place monument.
Police kept the protestors behind barricades. “Where’s your work permit? As a citizen I want to see your work permit!” one man yelled.
The 35-foot granite obelisk was taken down in four sections, placed on the back of a flatbed truck, and taken away to some storage facility. All that remains now is a scarred block of concrete.
Landrieu promises that the other three targeted monuments, P.G.T. Beauregard monument, Jefferson Davis monument, and the towering Robert E. Lee monument in Lee Circle will come down “sooner rather than later,” in the next few days.
The Liberty Place monument was erected in 1891 to commemorate those killed during the Battle of Liberty Place which took place in 1874 between the hated Reconstructionists, or carpet-baggers, and the old order of New Orleans who wanted their city back. You can read about the battle and the history here, at least as long as Landrieu leaves the site there.
Landrieu says of the four targeted monuments, this one more than any other needed to come down because it honors white supremacy. His opponents contend that this may have been a tragic time in our country’s history but people lost their lives there and this event was an important part of the city’s history. To erase it is criminal.
Monday morning, Landrieu said, “The removal of these statues sends a clear and unequivocal message to the people of New Orleans and the nation: New Orleans celebrates diversity, inclusion and tolerance.”
One could argue that point, too. He clearly is not showing tolerance for those who wish the monuments to remain. No vote was ever taken; the New Orleans citizenry never got to vote on this issue and polls indicate that 73% of the city want the monuments to remain.
With murders and shootings at an all time high in New Orleans, with streets almost impossible to navigate because of potholes, with a large homeless population whose needs are unmet, many question Landrieu’s priorities. Rather than building Equity Circles and taking down historic monuments, perhaps the city would be better served if he took care of those needs first. Removing these monuments is creating a racial divide of epic proportions and will affect tourism as conventions are relocated and a rising call for a boycott grows.
This is not the end. Once Landrieu and his cronies who are instigating him, the hate group Take ‘Em Down NOLA, more sanitizing of history will come. TEDNola has an entire agenda laid out on their website of names in NOLA that they feel must be changed including Tulane University.
If you think this is just a problem for New Orleans, I would suggest you rethink that. Already many are comparing Landrieu’s actions to those of Isis in taking down cultural markers. The Facebook memes have already started and are scathing, including one of the Superdome flying a Nazi flag. This can happen to any monument, in any city, in any state if we don’t study history and learn from it. To attempt to erase that history or to negate the lives of those who have gone before us is a grave error.
It is a sad day for those of us who believe in preservation.
There is a great timeline of last night events with excellent photos here.
Previous Posts at DaTechGuy blog:
Mayor Landrieu’s Plans to Remove Monuments in the Dead of Night Exposed (4/17/2017)
The Slippery Slope is Now Open (3/27/17)
A Disappointing Ruling from the 5th Circuit (3/13/17)
Still Fighting the Civil War (2/5/17)
Mayor Mitch Landrieu’s Solution to 172 Murders: Equity Circles (12/26/16)
Removal of Historic Confederate Monuments in New Orleans Thwarted — For Now (12/21/2015)
Report from Louisiana: Update on the Confederate Monument Removal Controversy (1/18/2016)
The Lives of My Ancestors Mattered Too (2/1/2016)
The Ongoing Battle of the Confederate Monuments: An Update (4/18/2016)
Confederate Monuments and Unintended Consequences (6/27/16)
Report from Louisiana: Revisionist History and Confederate Monuments (9/19/2016)
Report from Louisiana: Mass Shooting in New Orleans While Landrieu Fiddles (11/28/2016)
Previous Posts on And So it Goes in Shreveport:
The Confederate Battle Flag Rises Again in South Carolina (2/6/17)
Can the Violence in NOLA be Alleviated with Equity Circles? (12/26/16)
Shreveport Work of Art Still Needs Funding for Restoration (10/22/16)
Can You Help Clio? Restoration Fundraiser is Now Underway (9/5/16)
Epperson Demands UDC Remove Confederate Monument Within the Year (7/6/16)
Epperson’s Continued Attack on the Confederate Monument (6/22/16)
Report from the Caddo Commission Meeting in Which Ken Epperson Blasts “Jake-Leg Bloggers” (6/9/16)
Caddo Parish Confederate Monument Under Attack (5/19/16)
Joseph Welsh Texada’s Life Mattered Too (1/31/16)
The Heartbreaking Removal of the New Orleans Confederate Monuments (1/17/16)