New Orleans votes to remove Confederate, Civil War monuments

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The vote is one of the strongest gestures yet by an American city to remove symbols of Confederate history.

Stacy Head, a council member at large, was the lone vote against the removal.

He suggested the statues be moved to a more suitable space like a museum.

How did we get to a point where those who don't want to see belligerent white supremacists on pedestals are asked to prove that taking down the monuments will bring about a new millennium?

The monuments include statues of Robert E. Lee, P.G.T. Beauregard and Jefferson Davis.

The city has been debating since this summer a call by Mayor Mitch Landrieu to remove the monuments amid a broad push to take out of public display the Confederate battle flag and other symbols used by the pro-slavery South during the U.S. Civil War.

While the on-going controversy of the Confederate monument in front of the Caddo Parish Court House continues with no resolution in sight, the New Orleans City Council today voted to remove four monuments to the Confederacy, according to CNN.

Also up for removal is a bronze figure of the Confederate president that now stands at Canal Street and Jefferson Davis Parkway, and a more local hero, Pierre Gustave Toutant Beauregard, who straddles a prancing horse at the entrance to City Park. New Orleans witnessed multiple street battles that occurred between 1865 and 1877, pitting a Republican Party coalition of African Americans, white northern newcomers, and southern Unionists against the state's white ex-Confederates, who organized behind the Democratic Party.

During the hearings on the monuments in New Orleans, the Historic District Landmarks Commission, the Human Relations Commission and the Vieux Carré Commission voted in favor to recommend the removal of the monuments.

He says the process to remove three of the monuments will begin within days by finding a contractor to take them down.

"They're inanimate objects. They are not an object that is carrying forward the hatred, racism and the oppression of our opponents here", one resident told WDSU News, arguing the monuments should stay. The city will also remove an obelisk dedicated to Battle of Liberty Place, a Reconstruction Era uprising largely led by former Confederate fighters. "With eyes wide open, we should truly remember history and not revere a false version of it", AP reported.

An anonymous donor will pay to have the monuments taken down. By maintaining reverential monuments to the cause of this Confederacy in such out of context, honored, prominent public places, we betray our full history; ignore the progress of our city and limit our future. Both Davis and Beauregard attended the monument's dedication.

Mitch Landrieu's new ordinance does not specify what will happen to the monuments.

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