If there was ever an issue that galvanized groups on both sides of the moral aisle, it's the removal of the four Jim Crow-era monuments, including the statue of Robert E. Lee at Lee Circle.
One of the major supporters of Bagneris, as identified in this article, is Frank Stewart, a prominent member of the Business Council of New Orleans, and he was passionate against the removal of these Confederate monuments. Although Stewart said that Bagneris made no pledges to return them, he and three dozen of his associates organized a breakfast for Bagneris during the week of August 6, 2017. Bagneris acknowledged that they are now all heavy financial supporters. In spite of the New Orleans City Council voting to remove the Confederate monuments, with regard to returning these monuments, "Bagneris said that would happen only if the public approved it through a citywide vote."
The moral positions of what these Confederate monuments stand for is simple: slavery vs. anti-slavery. The confederacy represented the continuation of slavery and today is represented by such white supremacy groups as the KKK, Aryan nation, and David Duke. Today, anti-slavery is not only the sentiment of Black people, Jews, and the NAACP, but all people of good moral conscience who understand that slavery of any kind is wrong.
Mayor Landrieu and the City Council did the right thing
If there was ever a lightning rod in this mayor's race to differentiate the candidatess, the return of these Confederate monuments should be a mobilizing force for people who feel that Mayor Landrieu and the City Council did the right thing. For once, New Orleans was one of the first cities, if not the first city, on the right side of history in removing these symbols of hatred in our past. It would be a sad commentary on us to have a white mayor remove these Confederate monuments and a so-called, "Black man," be responsible for their return if he is elected mayor.
In addition, remember in 2002, the business community played a key role in making Ray Nagin mayor. And, we all know that Mr. Nagin was left holding the bag, Bagneris. Don't make yourself the laughing stock of New Orleans and the entire country for the sake of your personal gain. It's the job of the mayor to bring all citizens together and to provide opportunity for all its citizens. I, for one, do not intend to go backwards.
By: Dalton Savwoir, Jr. MPH, NFA
Fellow classmate of St. Augustine High, 1968, and Honor Graduate
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