Confederate Monuments Down
Publisher: Against the Current
Date Written: 01/07/2017
Year Published: 2017
Resource Type: Article
Cx Number: CX21608
For the rewriters, the Civil War became a "misunderstanding" (as Donald Trump echoes today) and Confederate generals and politicians were transformed into great Southern heroes and cultural icons. African-Americans were routinely humiliated, brutalized, and mutilated.
Pro-Confederate death threats made finding a contractor difficult. Then there were suits filed in state and federal courts by the city's historic preservationists, calling the monuments "cultural artifacts" and symbols of "heritage." The local news media sang the same tune.
Are the statues of CSA President Jefferson Davis and Confederate Generals P.G.T. Beauregard and Robert E. Lee "cultural artifacts"? Is a granite obelisk, erected in 1891 and commemorating the brief overthrow of the Reconstruction municipal government in 1874 by the Crescent City White League, part of our "heritage"?
As Mayor Landrieu forcefully stated in his Special Address May 19 while the Lee statue was being taken down, "These monuments purposefully celebrate a fictional, sanitized Confederacy; ignoring the death, ignoring the enslavement, and the terror that it actually stood for."