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.
In New Orleans, 2015 ended just as it began, with a plethora of violence. There were 165 murders in New Orleans last year, a 10% increase from 2014. Other violent crime categories, such as armed robbery, rape and carjacking increased as well. In fact, crime researcher Jeff Asher noted that in each of the last 74 days of 2015 at least one armed robbery or carjacking occurred.
You would think (and hope) that once the New Orleans City Council had voted to declare the Confederate monuments, including that of Robert E Lee (located at Lee Circle), to be public nuisances, the issue would be put into cold storage along with the statues themselves.
Yesterday, in the “City that Care Forgot,” City of New Orleans leaders showed they cared very little for their history, but cared a great deal for political correctness.
In a 6-1 vote, City Council members passed an ordinance supported by Mayor Mitch Landrieu to declare four historic Confederate monuments “nuisances” and remove them from the city landscape. It was a big political victory for Landrieu who created this controversy after the murder of Charleston African Americans by a racist white maniac.
Today in front of the Margaret Haughery Monument, the volunteer members of the Monumental Task Committee, Inc. (MTC) will release more than 31,000 petitions in support of keeping all of the monuments in New Orleans. The MTC is a 26-year old non-profit organization. Volunteer members work tirelessly to restore, repair, and maintain all of the monuments in New Orleans.
In his bid to remove four Confederate monuments, New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu has divided the city over an issue that until recently was not being discussed. The Mayor turned a non-issue into a controversy when he decided to make the removal of the monuments a top priority of his administration. Unfortunately, while the Mayor and his underlings spend precious time on the supposed problem of four inanimate objects, too many of his living and breathing constituents are facing the threat of violent crime on the streets of New Orleans.
One can argue that US Senator and now Louisiana gubernatorial candidate, David Vitter, gets pleasure and political mileage, in knocking a Landrieu at every opportunity. He helped torpedo Senator Mary Landrieu’s ship last year by backing fellow republican Bill Cassidy. Now, he has another Landrieu in sight, her brother Mitch, the Mayor of New Orleans.
As New Orleans continues to burn, our emperor, Mayor Mitch Landrieu, continues to fiddle. In the first six months of 2015, violent crime has surged in New Orleans. Compared to last year, rapes have increased 61% and murders are up 30%. Since the end of June, murders have increased at an even more alarming rate. At this pace, murders will reach 200 in 2015, the highest level since 2007.