A 18 m tall monument to Confederate General Robert E. Lee that towers over a traffic circle in New Orleans, Louisiana (Reuters / Jonathan Bachman)
New Orleans city council has started legal proceedings to remove four Confederate landmarks from the city, including a 131-year-old statue of General Robert E. Lee, which many black residents consider offensive.
The council passed a unanimous motion to begin a two-month period of consultations with various city agencies on whether to declare the controversial landmarks “nuisances” and have them removed.
“To maintain these symbols as we move toward our future seems to belie our progress and does not reflect who we truly are or who we want to be,”Mayor Mitch Landrieu said as cited by the New Orleans Advocate.
“I ask you, how can we expect to inspire a nation when our most prominent public spaces are dedicated to the reverence of those who fought for bondage and supremacy of our fellow Americans?”he asked.
The four monuments slated to be scrapped are: the statue of Confederate troops commander General Lee atop a 20-meter high column in Lee Circle; a monument to the Crescent City White League, a white supremacist group during the post-war Reconstruction era that was involved in an uprising against the state government in 1974; a statue of Jefferson Davis, the president of the short-lived Confederate States of America, and a statue of Confederate General P.G.T. Beauregard. The mayor also wants to rename the Jefferson Davis parkway after Norman C. Francis, the retired, long-serving president of the black Catholic Xavier University of Louisiana.
By RT News
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