Cleaning The South of Slavery and Confederate-era Relics

I was pleased to read about New Orleans Mayor Landrieu’s proposal to take down some of the reminders of slavery and the confederacy.I am sure there will be many who decry the removal of landmarks that are a familiar part of the only landscape they have ever known. In Russia, mobs took down statues and ransacked palaces, museums and other official places. Who doesn’t remember the mob taking down Saddam Hussein’s statue in Iraq by US soldiers and Iraqi citizens?

It is bitterly ironic that we managed to do something in Iraq that we couldn’t really do here at home, until now. We need to remind those who want to preserve the old that we are a unique nation in that the victor of the Civil War was never able to fully impose its will, as has been the case in civil wars across the globe. There is something wrong with that and it is why we are only now getting around to removing a symbol that should never have lived past April 9, 1865.

Some things need to go. The South, as it is, will always be full of reminders.

Here’s to a brave new South, full of change!

New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu says it’s time to take down symbols, monuments honoring Confederacy | News | The New Orleans Advocate — New Orleans, Louisiana

June 24, 2015
Amid a burgeoning national and local discussion about the appropriateness of Confederate flags and other symbols of white supremacy, Mayor Mitch Landrieu said Wednesday that he believes it’s time to replace divisive monuments and symbols with ones that reflect unity, peace and the city’s culture.

Monuments such as the imposing statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee in the St. Charles Avenue traffic circle also named for Lee belong in museums, not outdoor public spaces, Landrieu said.“We would never want to deny history,” Landrieu said. “Robert E. Lee was a very important historical figure, not only in the city of New Orleans, the state of Louisiana, but nationally as well. But whether or not that’s the appropriate place to recognize him is open for discussion.”Landrieu’s comments came one week after nine black people were murdered at a church in South Carolina. Dylan Roof, a 21-year-old self-identified white supremacist, is accused of shooting six black women and three black men to death at a Bible study meeting at the historic Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston.

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