Most of these problems create challenges for every Mayor of New Orleans. Unfortunately, this Mayor has a new dilemma that was initiated by Mitch Landrieu. She needs to decide what to do with the four Confederate monuments that were removed last year. Landrieu promised a solution for the monuments, but he failed to keep his commitment to the people of New Orleans. In addition, Landrieu created eyesores at the former monument sites. The new Mayor needs to decide how the former sites, including the prominent Lee Circle location will be remodeled.
Due to Landrieu’s political ambitions, a Confederate monument debate and controversy was created. Previously, the monuments were standing with almost no public comment. Now, Landrieu has given Mayor Cantrell a tremendous headache in these early days of her new administration.
To her credit, Cantrell convened a committee of monument supporters who developed some recommendations on how to handle the monuments. For example, the committee recommended sending the Jefferson Davis monument to be displayed in Biloxi, Mississippi at Beauvoir, his former home on the coast. Regarding the statues of Gen. Robert E. Lee and Gen. P.G.T. Beauregard, the committee recommended that they be displayed at Greenwood Cemetery, near I-10 on Canal Blvd.
Congratulations to the committee for they have developed a compromise solution that should be agreeable to most of the people of New Orleans. While supporters want the monuments restored to their previous positions, Mayor Cantrell has maintained that such an option is not possible. On the other side, monument detractors in the group Take ‘Em Down NOLA, led by communist sympathizer Malcolm Suber, want the monuments removed from New Orleans completely. This group also wants dozens of other statues removed, street and school names changed in a quest to radically remake New Orleans into a bastion of political correctness.
Hopefully, Mayor Cantrell will not listen to radicals who are led by a communist with no roots in New Orleans. Let’s also hope she does not listen to the liberals on the Times Picayune editorial board who oppose the plan to return monuments to public display in New Orleans. The board believes such a plan would be an affront to the citizens of such a “progressive and diverse” city.
Yes, New Orleans is a diverse city and in such a place, there should be a recognition of our 300-year history and an appreciation for priceless monuments designed by world class sculptors. Mayor Cantrell can resolve this issue, bring people together and right a tremendous wrong created by Mitch Landrieu by following the recommendations of her committee and returning the Lee and Beauregard statues to public display.
Jeff Crouere is a native New Orleanian and his award winning program, “Ringside Politics,” airs locally at 7:30 p.m. Fridays and at 10:00 p.m. Sundays on PBS affiliate WLAE-TV, Channel 32, and from 7-11 a.m. weekdays on WGSO 990-AM & www.Wgso.com. He is a political columnist, the author of America's Last Chance and provides regular commentaries on the Jeff Crouere YouTube channel and on www.JeffCrouere.com. For more information, email him at [email protected]