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New Orleans Considers Removing Prominent Confederate Monuments

Thursday, 17 Dec 2015 09:56 AM

 New Orleans city leaders are set to decide on Thursday whether to remove several high-profile monuments honoring leaders of the Confederacy in response to the shooting deaths of nine black churchgoers in South Carolina in June.

The city has been debating since this summer a call by Mayor Mitch Landrieu to remove the monuments amid a national 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.

"It would be better for all our children, black and white, to see symbols in prominent places in our city that make them feel proud of their city and inspire them to greatness," Landrieu told the New Orleans City Council in July.

The monuments targeted honor leaders of the Confederacy - a 72-foot monument to Robert E. Lee, a statue of Jefferson Davis, a P.G.T. Beauregard equestrian statue at the entrance to a park and a monument to a battle led by Confederate veterans.

The council will consider an ordinance that declares the monuments to be public nuisances because they "honor, praise, or foster ideologies which are in conflict with the requirements of equal protection for citizens" in the U.S. Constitution.

Yet the proposal has been controversial in this southern city, where some see the monuments as a symbol of heritage, not hate. Similar debates have occurred in other communities after Dylann Roof, the white man who is accused of carrying out the racially motivated church shootings in Charleston, was seen in photographs posing with the Confederate battle flag.

The Sons of Confederate Veterans condemned the New Orleans measure as "expensive, divisive, and politically correct" in a statement from the group's Louisiana division in September.

"We believe that what Mayor Landrieu advocates is the same thing that ISIS and the Taliban have been doing in Iraq, Syria and Afghanistan by destroying and removing any monument or relic that they don't personally agree with," said Thomas E. Taylor, division commander. ISIS is another name for Islamic State.

© 2017 Thomson/Reuters. All rights reserved.

 
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New Orleans city leaders are set to decide on Thursday whether to remove several high-profile monuments honoring leaders of the Confederacy in response to the shooting deaths of nine black churchgoers in South Carolina in June. The city has been debating since this summer a...
nola, confederate, monuments, down
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2015-56-17
Thursday, 17 Dec 2015 09:56 AM
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