It has been almost two years since New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu used a tragedy in South Carolina to advocate for the removal of four Confederate monuments in his city.
Much has been written about the impact of the confederate monument issue and the defeat of the recent New Orleans millage for police and firemen.
The argument goes like this—Mitch Landrieu is unpopular among whites in New Orleans especially due to his recent actions in trying to remove the confederate statues, such as Robert E. Lee, at Lee Circle.
At City Council chambers yesterday, Tulane Professor and Dean of the School of Continuing Studies Richard Marksbury perfectly captured the absurdity of the effort to remove Confederate monuments in New Orleans. He pointed out that using the “poorly written,” “ill-conceived,” and “dangerous” city nuisance ordinance, the statue of Andrew Jackson, at the heart of Jackson Square, the most iconic spot in New Orleans and the most photographed site in the Gulf South, should be removed.
In New Orleans, 2015 ended just as it began, with a plethora of violence. There were 165 murders in New Orleans last year, a 10% increase from 2014. Other violent crime categories, such as armed robbery, rape and carjacking increased as well. In fact, crime researcher Jeff Asher noted that in each of the last 74 days of 2015 at least one armed robbery or carjacking occurred.
You would think (and hope) that once the New Orleans City Council had voted to declare the Confederate monuments, including that of Robert E Lee (located at Lee Circle), to be public nuisances, the issue would be put into cold storage along with the statues themselves.
Yesterday, in the “City that Care Forgot,” City of New Orleans leaders showed they cared very little for their history, but cared a great deal for political correctness.
In a 6-1 vote, City Council members passed an ordinance supported by Mayor Mitch Landrieu to declare four historic Confederate monuments “nuisances” and remove them from the city landscape. It was a big political victory for Landrieu who created this controversy after the murder of Charleston African Americans by a racist white maniac.
Today in front of the Margaret Haughery Monument, the volunteer members of the Monumental Task Committee, Inc. (MTC) will release more than 31,000 petitions in support of keeping all of the monuments in New Orleans. The MTC is a 26-year old non-profit organization. Volunteer members work tirelessly to restore, repair, and maintain all of the monuments in New Orleans.
In his bid to remove four Confederate monuments, New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu has divided the city over an issue that until recently was not being discussed. The Mayor turned a non-issue into a controversy when he decided to make the removal of the monuments a top priority of his administration. Unfortunately, while the Mayor and his underlings spend precious time on the supposed problem of four inanimate objects, too many of his living and breathing constituents are facing the threat of violent crime on the streets of New Orleans.
In an ongoing political skirmish today between US Senator David Vitter and New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu, the gubernatorial candidate Vitter, returned to the issue of crime and confederate statues.
One can argue that US Senator and now Louisiana gubernatorial candidate, David Vitter, gets pleasure and political mileage, in knocking a Landrieu at every opportunity. He helped torpedo Senator Mary Landrieu’s ship last year by backing fellow republican Bill Cassidy. Now, he has another Landrieu in sight, her brother Mitch, the Mayor of New Orleans.