Tag Archives: New Orleans’ Confederate Heroes’ Monuments

NEPA for NEW ORLEANS—Monuments & the Cultural Environment of New Orleans—invitation to join me in a new lawsuit to Save New Orleans’ Confederate Heritage

The Fight must go on to save our Southern and Confederate heritage in this beautiful city:
Last week, on March 6, 2017, Judges Higginbothom, Elrod, and Higginson of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit summarily upheld Judge Barbier’s ruling Monumental Task Committee v Foxx et al, (Confederate Era Monuments) 157 F.Supp.3d 573 (USDC EDLa, 26 January 2016) without further comment or opinion.  
Back in the Fall of 2015, I suggested at one or more of the New Orleans City Council “Hearings” prior to the removal ordinance that the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) provided an alternative litigation strategy. Now that the first round attempts have failed, I wonder whether any of you would be willing to join with me, as pro-se plaintiffs if necessary, asserting that the monuments should not be taken down without an Environmental Impact Statement under NEPA. I know one lawyer who might take this case, but we would have to pay him. I could draft and prepare research (using the Westlaw access at Tulane Law Library if necessary).
If any of you would be willing to contribute your names, time, or money to this cause… or have a group, please write to me at charles.e.lincoln@gmail.com. I will write back or call anyone who would be seriously interested in talking about this.  Even the Monumental Task Committee itself could amend its complaint to include NEPA and abandon some of its counts which didn’t work.  I looked at Judge Barbier’s opinion from last January again and it’s just a denial of a Preliminary Injunction, not a final judgment, so there won’t be any problem with res judicata…even though they lost the first round, they could apply again for a new injunction.  In short, NOTHING IS OVER AND DONE WITH YET.  THIS STORY COULD JUST BE BEGINNING if we have the will to fight…
We could certainly discuss this proposal here on Facebook, also. I know that the preservation of the monuments is at least in part a political question, but so is the preservation of the Grand Canyon, Yellowstone, and Yosemite. NEPA permits us to argue that these monuments are part of the social and cultural fabric of the city, that New Orleans is heavily subsidized by the Federal Government, and that no Federal Funds, or subsidized city funds, should be spent on this project without a full Environmental Impact Statement.
I would suggest that we could lend more weight to this argument if we were to propose that the monuments are embedded in the Victorian Matrix of the City, and that, in fact, New Orleans’ Victorian Architecture and Heritage, including these monuments, should be preserved as a UNESCO World Heritage Site…. Again, I made this proposal on the floor of the City Council meetings about 18-15 months ago. Some of you may have heard me, but nobody was willing to join me at that point.
The Monumental Task Committee did a heroic job, but it was not legally imaginative or creative. 17 December 2015 Monumental Task Force Verified Complaint for Declaratory & Injunctive Relief, USDC EDLA, 2015_WL_9302986  17 December 2015 Monumental Task Force Verified Complaint for Declaratory & Injunctive Relief, USDC EDLA, 2015_WL_9302986.

 I suggest that there are other avenues we could explore, but I sure don’t want to try it alone…

Scary White People in New Orleans ……(BOO!)

Do “Scary White People” in New Orleans support “the deification of Robert E. Lee” as part and parcel of “the false history of the Lost Cause?”

No? Well, I don’t think so either, but those were some of the more memorably idiotic lines uttered (the first by only one speaker that I heard, but the second two were repeated several times by different speakers) at the twin meetings on Confederate Monuments in New Orleans earlier today, Thursday, 13 August 2015 at City Hall, 1300 Perdido.

The whole day was frustrating and infuriating. I stayed for all of the first meeting but not the procedural votes afterwards, went over to Tulane to do some library work and returned in the evening for the second session.

I finally walked out after an hour and a half of the second meeting that started at 6:00 p.m. (New Orleans Human Relations Committee) when some hopelessly misguided and unintelligent white woman was explaining how she told her second grade son that Robert E. Lee was a traitor. The same woman had just said that she wouldn’t dream of buying a house on Jefferson Davis Parkway and that Lee’s statue had always made her uncomfortable since she moved to the City in 2001.

Many (mostly black) people said that they felt the same way around statues of Beauregard, Davis, and Lee that a Jew might feel around statues of Hitler, Himmler, or Goebbels. These and other statements of those in favor of the removal of the Confederate Heroes’ and Battle of Liberty Place Monuments were so completely asinine as to qualify most of the speakers for the booby hatch.

But what the day was really about was the despicable level of historical IGNORANCE and cultural PREJUDICE, coupled with Political Opportunism, of the American People, or at least those who showed up at City Hall in New Orleans today seeking removal of the monuments to the Old South’s greatest generals and leaders….

First prize for best speech among the “Pro Southern Heritage” side of the argument goes to a beautiful lady with a French Creole name—who claims a 300 year old family lineage going back to some of the greatest names in New Orleans and Louisiana history all the way back to before the founding of the city.  This was exactly the kind of lady my Natchitoches-born grandmother had always hoped I would marry when I went to Tulane, but, alas, it didn’t happen, I went “Greek” instead). But this particular lady was full of fire and passion—and if she wants to run for Mayor I promise her 1000% support…

That was the short version of what I saw. What I felt was that a real race war, or at the very least a new and very hostile period between Stalinist mind control and historical manipulators and traditional Southerners.
 
The Stalinists were about 3/4 black and 1/4 white, while the traditionalists were overwhelmingly white with two or three reasonable black people daring to speak out.
 
I guess that “Stalinists” are predictably a nasty bunch, but these particular Stalinists were much more hateful than I expected—the lady “Latoya” who spoke about “Scary White People” was merely the most preposterous of them all. (The white people in presence were not scary at all—I wish they had shown a little more backbone—much too much apologizing and saying they hated the thought of offending anybody. If any word applies to the white crowd, it was “Scared.”
But Latoya was part of a “Take them all down” poster bearing click that was seated right behind me on the second row center behind the main public speaker’s podium, and they were vocally demonstrative and disruptive throughout, and I felt a great deal of hate from them and all who spoke against the moments.
 
I felt absolutely no hate among the white supporters of “maintaining the monuments,” just varying degrees of frustration for the most part, but I did feel a great fear on the part of the white people—fear of being called Racist or White Supremacist, fear of being called “traitors” perhaps.
 
Only one white person (and I can’t even say it was me), talked about the Stalinist mood of the event…..
As the evening ended, one bright clarion bell of hope sounded: Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal has declared his opposition to taking down New Orleans’ Confederate Monuments—it would be strange indeed for Hindu-American ethnic Bobby Jindal to turn out to be the savior for the monuments repeatedly decried today as monuments to White Supremacy and White Racism….and to the suppression of all black and brown peoples….
So who knows?  Maybe, just maybe, like Dinesh d’Souza, Indians have a better perspective on the cycles of caste, conquest, and colonialism even than do most Americans, black or white….  though that certainly would NOT explain the offensive behavior of Nikki Haley, the Governor of South Carolina, another Hindu-American…….