Confederate statue of Jefferson Davis removed in New Orleans; controversy continues


It's one of four monuments the New Orleans City Council declared nuisances in December 2015 and the second that Mayor Mitch Landrieu will have removed.

However, Landrieu previously said the monument of Davis and the statues of Confederate generals Robert E. Lee and P.G.T. Beauregard could come down "anytime, sooner rather than later". The Davis statue was the second of the four monuments to be removed in the Crescent City.

The statue is one of three monuments to Confederate leaders slated for removal in New Orleans.

Some of the pro-monument demonstrators chanted "Mitch for prison" - a reference to New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu, who is backing the monuments' removal. They may not be able to destroy the statue, but it sounds as of they could still remove it to a warehouse and tell the association to pick it up at their convenience and take it to private land. They are an inaccurate recitation of our past, an affront to our present and a poor prescription for our future.

Earlier this month a committee in the Louisiana legislature advanced a bill that would bar municipalities from removing Confederate monuments without first winning approval through a vote.

The statues in New Orleans are part of a controversy surrounding Confederate symbols over whether they represent slavery and racial injustice, or heritage.

More barricades have been placed around the Jefferson Davis statue at Canal St. and S. Jefferson Davis Pkwy.

Workers prepare to take down the Jefferson Davis statue in New Orleans, Thursday, May 11, 2017. "We should not be afraid to confront and reconcile our past", he said. Some have likened these monuments to other monuments around the world from bygone eras, and have argued that civic resources would be better spent trying to educate the public about the history they embody.

Allison Hunt, who lives in Mid-City, said she's surprised it "took so long" to remove the Confederate president's monument. In late April an obelisk honoring an uprising in 1874 during which white New Orleanians shot police officers in protest of Reconstruction, and which bore a plaque commemorating white supremacy, was removed under the cover of night, with armed police officers surrounding the scene to reduce the chances of violence.

"There's no other place in the world that pays tribute and puts on a pedestal people that tried to destroy our country", Landrieu says.

After we're done moving these monuments, we'll face an even greater task: coming together to decide who we are as a city - and as a nation.

Mayor Landrieu says the removals are to make "New Orleans more diverse, but Landrieu can not be inclusive, tolerant, or diverse when he is erasing a very specific and undeniable part of New Orleans' history", said Pierre McGraw, President of the Monumental Task Committee.