|A monument of Jefferson Davis in New Orleans. Davis was not just a slave owner, |
he was also a vociferous defender of the institution. (Photo by Bart Everson)
By Elahe Izadi
New Orleans officials voted Thursday to remove four prominent monuments to the Confederacy, following months of impassioned debate and similar actions by other communities in the South.
The city council voted 6-1 to remove an obelisk dedicated to the Battle of Liberty Place, as well as statues of Gen. P.G.T. Beauregard, Confederate president Jefferson Davis and Gen. Robert E. Lee.
Mayor Mitch Landrieu, who introduced the proposal a week after a white gunman killed nine parishioners at a historic black church in Charleston, S.C., called the move a “courageous decision to turn a page on our divisive past.”
Jefferson Davis Says Slaves Were Happy To Be Slaves:
Had these Africans been a cruelly oppressed people, relentlessly struggling to be freed from their bonds, would their masters have dared to leave them, as was done, and would they have remained as they did, continuing their usual duties, or could the proclamation of emancipation have been put on the plea of a military necessity, if the fact had been that the negroes were forced to serve, and desired only an opportunity to rise against their masters? From The Rise and Fall of the Confederate Government, by Jefferson Davis
“Symbols matter and should reflect who we are as a people,” Landrieu said in a statement. “These monuments do not now, nor have they ever reflected the history, the strength, the richness, the diversity or the soul of who we are as a people and a city.”
The ordinance dubs the monuments as “nuisances” that “honor, praise, or foster ideologies which are in conflict with the requirements of equal protection for citizens as provided by the constitution and laws of the United States, the state, or the laws of the city and suggests the supremacy of one ethnic, religious, or racial group over another.”