Landrieu made the connection between the shooting and monuments, even though the issues were totally unrelated. The monuments did not shoot anyone or commit a crime. They are inanimate objects that are priceless works of art. Two of them were created by renowned sculptor Alexander Doyle and three of them are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Prior to the vote, the arrogant and pompous Landrieu had already lined up contractors to remove the monuments. Fortunately, his plans have at least been temporarily halted by a federal lawsuit filed by four organizations concerned about historic preservation.
In fact, all New Orleans residents should be concerned about preserving these monuments. They reflect an important part of the city’s involvement in the Civil War, one of the most influential periods of our nation’s history. Removing the monuments will not destroy the evils of slavery. It will not give equal rights to African Americans or other minority groups. It is only a feel good gesture that is being pushed by a Mayor who is using the issue to promote his political career.
The Mayor claimed that he represented “the people,” but, ironically, he was opposed to this issued being placed on the ballot for all New Orleans residents to decide. As noted by one council member, this entire debate was a “top down” discussion being foisted on the council and the city by Mayor Landrieu.
It is no surprise that during the debate, supporters of the Mayor funded a poll among New Orleans voters asking about their opinion of the Mayor, the monuments and the potential for the Mayor to serve a third term and change the city’s charter. The removal of the monuments is an issue supported by many African American voters, who comprise about 65% of the New Orleans electorate. Obviously, it might be used by Landrieu to try to extend his tenure as Mayor of New Orleans.
By any measure, Landrieu does not deserve another term. In fact, he should be recalled for failing miserably as Mayor. The police force has lost 500 officers since Landrieu took office. The murder rate will increase this year for the first time in five years. Other violent crime rates for categories such as rape, armed robbery and carjacking will increase this year as well. Street conditions are atrocious, while all city services, such as the Sewerage and Water Board are unreliable at best.
To boost city revenues, the Mayor is getting ready to push another increase in property taxes and just finished jacking up meter parking rates and doubling them in the French Quarter. As a tax and spend liberal, he finds great satisfaction in making citizens and tourists pay more money to city government.
These precious tourists, who fund the city’s largest industry, will find New Orleans a much less interesting city to visit after historic monuments are removed. In fact, one of the supposedly “racist” monuments, Lee Circle, was ranked by tourists as one of the top ten sites in New Orleans to visit. If Mayor Landrieu succeeds with his scheme, this iconic site will be forever removed and replaced with something he deems appropriate, quite a travesty.
Thus, Mayor Landrieu created a firestorm, whipped up racial divisions, and attacked the city’s history, all to promote his political career. As New Orleans prepares to celebrate its 300th anniversary in 2018, it has now been severely tarnished once again.
Fortunately, New Orleans has survived despite almost 300 years of Mayors who have been corrupt, arrogant and self promoting. Unfortunately, the negative legacy of this Mayor will last for quite some time.