The New Orleans mayor is here to remind us that no one is free until everyone is free
A statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee is lowered to a truck for removal Friday, May 19, 2017, from Lee Circle in New Orleans. The city council voted to remove the monument and three other Confederate and white supremacist monuments in Dec. 2015. An obelisk honoring the militia known as the White League was taken down in April; a statue of Confederate President Jefferson Davis was removed May 11; and a statue of Confederate General P.G.T. Beauregard was taken down on Wednesday.
The city of New Orleans has been making waves lately. After much debate, New Orleans decided to take down four Confederate monuments from around the city. On Friday (May 19), mayor Mitch Landrieu gave a speech about the decision, just hours before the last monument—depicting general Robert E. Lee—came down.
There’s no denying we’re living in a time of political turmoil, and people worldwide are faced with decisions about how they will act, either in resistance or peace. Still, it is striking how Landrieu chose to stay true to his values, in spite of opposition, and so eloquently explained his choice by detailing the history of the Confederacy and the cult of the Lost Cause of the Confederacy.
New Orleans is making an active effort to rewrite its history to be inclusive. You can watch the full speech and read the full transcript below:
Click headline for article, with video and transcript