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Friday, 01 April 2016 14:21
Keeping Andrew Jackson statue doesn't square with removing confederate monuments
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At City Council chambers yesterday, Tulane Professor and Dean of the School of Continuing Studies Richard Marksbury perfectly captured the absurdity of the effort to remove Confederate monuments in New Orleans. He pointed out that using the “poorly written,” “ill-conceived,” and “dangerous” city nuisance ordinance, the statue of Andrew Jackson, at the heart of Jackson Square, the most iconic spot in New Orleans and the most photographed site in the Gulf South, should be removed.

The nuisance ordinance states that any monument should be removed if it "suggests the supremacy of one ethnic, religious, or racial group over any other." It seems that Jackson was a slave owner and did not treat American Indians well. According to Marksbury, "He signed the Indian Removal Act when he was president of the U.S. That resulted in more than 4,000 deaths of peaceful Native Americans. He confiscated 25 million acres of their land which became cotton fields."

Today’s history revisionists don’t care that Jackson saved New Orleans, fought for his country and served two successful terms as President. All they care about is how he treated oppressed minorities of his day.

As Marksbury notes, problems arise when today’s politicians “re-examine and analyze historical figures by contemporary values.” This unnecessary and ill-advised fight was promoted by New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu. Without doubt, it has divided New Orleans and stands to seriously damage the reputation of the city as it prepares for its tri-centennial celebration.  

While these discussions were taking place, more criminal mayhem was occurring on the streets of New Orleans. In just the last two days, patrons at the Indywood Theater on St. Claude Avenue were robbed and the renowned Maple Street bookstore was robbed by a man wielding a knife, marking the first such incident in the 52 year history of the business.

Of course, in addition, citizens were robbed, raped and killed, nothing out of the ordinary in New Orleans. The “Missing in Action” Mayor has shown zero leadership on the crime issue. Instead, he is too busy launching another round of midnight basketball and campaigning for the causes he cares deeply about: Hillary Clinton, climate change and monument removal.

Too bad the Mayor was not at the City Council chambers learning from Professor Marksbury. He clearly showed that the Jackson statue should be removed because “When there’s a law or ordinance, it should be applied fairly.” If the City Council will not remove the Jackson statue, Marksbury believes that none of the controversial monuments should be removed.

While some citizens may react in horror to the idea of removing the Jackson statue, a group of left wing activists, “Take ‘Em Down NOLA,” are very supportive of such a move. In fact, they want many more statues removed such as the one honoring the founder of New Orleans, Bienville.

In his remarks yesterday, Marksbury outlined a list of other statues that could be removed under the wording of the nuisance ordinance. He cited the Winston Churchill statue and the Buffalo Soldiers monument as examples. The politically correct agenda could also include renaming the Roosevelt Mall in City Park, since former President Franklin Roosevelt interned 110,000 people of Japanese ancestry, mostly American citizens, during World War II.

Other street names such as Jackson Avenue, Jefferson Avenue, Bienville Street to name only a few may have to be changed if the nuisance ordinance was strictly followed.

As noted yesterday by New Orleans Councilwoman-at-large Stacy Head the confederate monument removal has created a “dangerous precedent.”

The Mayor and six members of the City Council, with Head as the only opponent, used a poorly written nuisance ordinance to engage in politically correct, history revisionism. As the case lingers in court and no contractor has been identified to remove the monuments, citizens have a right to ask when this distraction will end and when city leaders will start to focus on the serious problems facing New Orleans. 

Last modified on Monday, 04 April 2016 10:51
Jeff Crouere

Jeff Crouere is a native of New Orleans, LA and he is the host of a Louisiana based program, “Ringside Politics,” which airs at 7:30 p.m. Fri. and 10:00 p.m. Sun. on WLAE-TV 32, a PBS station, and 7 till 11 a.m.weekdays on WGSO 990 AM in New Orleans and the Northshore. For more information, visit his web site at Ringside Politics.

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