The City of New Orleans finally has the go-ahead via court order to remove the monuments to the Confederacy at Lee Circle, the P.G.T. Beauregard statue at the roundabout in front of City Park at Wisner and Esplanade, and the Jefferson Davis monument on Canal at Jeff Davis Parkway (wait, maybe we should rename the street, too?).
All three of the statues are to be removed by contractors (to be selected by bid submitted to the city), with the bases and pedestals remaining in some cases, presumably to be replaced with statues that are more in line with anti-Confederate modern, anti-racist and politically-correct practices.
In an older blog, we recommended (as did our readers) the the Confederate heroes be removed and that city erect memorials to famous musicians (remember renaming Lee Circle as Toussaint Circle—I love that one). Wouldn’t we rather memorialize our music rather than our racist past? A good question: who’s going to make the decision on the replacement statues, anyway?
What’s really interesting about this court ruling (that approved the removal of the statues) is that there are troubling questions how the city will be able to insure the safety of the contractors who will win the bids to remove the statues. According to local newspapers, one contractor who had been selected to remove the monuments had his car torched, and other bidders who had responded to earlier proposals were threatened with boycotts and loss of business, mainly through social media.
Whether or not the threats on businesses via social media come to pass, it’s very troubling that posts generated enough hatred from people who oppose the warehousing of the Confederate statues to prevent the city from using the standard bid processes to remove them. So the question is: how and when will the statues be removed at all?
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