Removal of Confederate Monument Public Hearing
The New Orleans HDLC will hold a public hearing on Thursday, August 13, 2015 from 1:00 PM to 3:00 p.m. in the City Council Chamber, 1300 Perdido Street on code section 146-611 – Removal from public property by request from the New Orleans City Council, evaluation and recommendation: Robert E. Lee Statue, PGT Beauregard statue, Battle of Liberty Place monument, Jefferson Davis statue. The deadline for comment submissions has passed.
Removal of Confederate Monument Public Hearing
The New Orleans Human Relations Commission will hold a public hearing on Thursday, August 13, 2015 at 6 p.m. in the City Council Chamber, 1300 Perdido Street on code section 146-611 – Removal from public property by request from the New Orleans City Council, evaluation and recommendation: Robert E. Lee Statue, PGT Beauregard statue, Battle of Liberty Place monument, Jefferson Davis statue. If you would like to submit a comment, please complete the feedback form below. The deadline for comment submissions has passed.
My position is as follows:
New Orleans, as a city, embodies the Old South, and it was the greatest City of the Old South AND the Confederate States of America. Removing Robert E. Lee’s statue, or any of the other monuments, would be amount to a Stalinist attempt to rewrite history, to alter the nature and character of this city, and to falsify reality. IF this City really wants to disown the legacy of slavery and the cultural economy of the Old South—what really needs to happen is that (1) the French Quarter, (2) the Garden District, especially the houses along Jackson and Washington Avenues and First-Seventh Street, and Prytania and much of Magazine, need to be razed. These houses and Antebellum Greek Revival architecture ALL owe their origins to Slave Labor—they are MONUMENTS to the wealth of the South Created by Slave Labor—and it’s just too hypocritical to remove the Statues but not the Homes, not the neighborhoods or the street names—because these are reflective of the deeply ingrained nature of slave-based, Antebellum culture… which produced, whether we like it or not, most of the gloriously beautiful city which is the New Orleans of today.
The magnificence of Victorian Era, with monuments like the oldest buildings of Tulane University and “Uptown” around Audubon Park and “Up-River” St. Charles and Prytania Avenues…these are the monuments to the survivors and first Children of the Confederate States of America. Tulane University itself is named for one of the South’s Chief Financiers, who donated more money to the Confederate States Government and Army than any private individual in history had ever done to any war, even compared to George Washington’s personal contributions to and investment in the American Revolution. While the oldest building at Tulane (the administrative hub of the University, Gibson Hall) is named after another Confederate General, Randall Gibson.
And please don’t forget the hypocrisy implied by taking Robert E. Lee and P.G.T. Beauregard and Jefferson Davis down, but leaving the Statue of Andrew Jackson standing.
By any standards of International Human Rights or U.S. Civil Rights law, Andrew Jackson was genuinely guilty of “Genocidal War Crimes” but by those same standards, Robert E. Lee, Pierre Gustave Toutant-Beauregard, and Jefferson Davis were not. The 200th anniversary of the Battle of New Orleans was celebrated here in January without major controversy, but this is simply a perversion of history. The Battle of New Orleans was in fact without any real military or political significance, certainly no ideology was at stake. It was all about the glorification of Old Hickory. And I have no problem with that a priori, except that, by comparison, Jackson was a monster and we are vilifying Confederates who fought for liberty and the Constitution.
Jackson, of course, made war, both on the battlefield and in the Courts of the United States, and generally abused and oppressed the American Indians—the Five Civilized Tribes, but he also owned slaves. Accordingly HIS statue, at the very center of New Orleans, should come down BEFORE LEE’s or DAVIS’ or BEAUREGARD’s, IF that’s the real issue…. But I question whether it is the heritage of slavery, or the heritage of Constitutional Liberty and Limited Government, which is the real target of those who seek to denigrate the heritage of the Confederate States of America…
It would be a MASSIVE miscalculation and great historical hypocrisy to take down the monuments to the Confederate (and post-Confederate) leaders. Even the layout of the city along the river, and the street names (e.g. “the Muses”, Prytania), are testaments to the importance of the Greek Revival and Classical heritage of Athenian Democracy in this City—if you want to obliterate the Southern Legacy in the history of New Orleans, you just need to NUKE THIS CITY, maybe twice, and then think about nuking the rest of the State and the whole of the South—everything of any historical importance comes back to one major truth—Cotton was King and the Mississippi was its Royal Road….