76 feet of pro-slavery glory

16 feet tall Robert E. Lee no longer towers over downtown Nawlins.

The New Orleans City Council had declared the city’s four Confederate monuments a public nuisance.

On Friday police cars circled the last one standing, the imposing statue of General Robert E. Lee, a 16-foot-tall bronze figure mounted on a 60-foot pedestal in the center of Lee Circle near downtown. Live news trucks were parked on side streets, and cameramen watched from the windows of nearby hotel rooms. The air was muggy and tense.

It’s a funny thing, but contemporary Germany doesn’t much fancy having giant statues of Hitler in downtown Frankfurt and Berlin and Heidelberg. It doesn’t see the period from 1933 to 1945 as a heroic age. Some Germans do, to be sure, but they’re 1. a minority and 2. wrong.

Three monuments already had come down in what represented a sharp cultural changing of the guard: First it was the Liberty Place monument, an obelisk tucked on a back street near the French Quarter that commemorated a Reconstruction Era white supremacist attack on the city’s integrated police force; next, Confederate Jefferson Davis — a bronze statue of the only president of the Confederacy, mounted on a pedestal in the working-class Mid-City area of town; then, Confederate General P.G.T. Beauregard, mounted high on a horse in a roundabout at the entrance to City Park.

Isn’t it a funny coincidence that the US Attorney General’s middle name is Beauregard? Haha no, it’s not, because it’s not a coincidence, it’s deliberate. Jefferson Beauregard – parents making a statement there, which Jeff has lived up to all his life.

Statue supporters say they represent an important part of the state’s identity and culture — but in a city where 60 percent of the residents are African-American, many see the monuments as an offensive celebration of the Confederacy and the system of slavery it sought to preserve.

Good old NPR, too chickenshit to say the monuments are in fact a celebration of the Confederacy and the violent fight against Reconstruction. They have to pretend it’s just hearsay, just opinion.

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