Landrieu slammed the Confederacy itself, saying the world was better off without it and the monuments represented intimidation.
New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu has just given a speech as the last of four Confederate monuments were removed from the city that involved slamming the Confederacy itself, a move that is sure to cause controversy among his constituents.
Landrieu said that “The Confederacy lost and we’re better for it,” and the four statues that had been removed so far (Confederate President Jefferson Davis, Gen. Robert E. Lee, Gen. P.G.T. Beauregard and the Battle of Liberty Place) were built immediately following the Civil War to “send a strong message to all who walked in their shadows about who was still in charge in the city.”
Landrieu is from New Orleans and is the city’s 61st mayor. He said he didn’t pay much attention to the monuments in his youth, but musician Wynton Marsalis caused him to feel differently about them.
“The historic record is clear, the Robert E. Lee, Jefferson Davis, and P.G.T. Beauregard statues were not erected just to honor these men, but as part of the movement which became known as The Cult of the Lost Cause,” Landrieu said in the speech. “This ‘cult’ had one goal — through monuments and through other means — to rewrite history to hide the truth, which is that the Confederacy was on the wrong side of humanity. First erected over 166 years after the founding of our city and 19 years after the end of the Civil War, the monuments that we took down were meant to rebrand the history of our city and the ideals of a defeated Confederacy.
“It is self-evident that these men did not fight for the United States of America, They fought against it. They may have been warriors, but in this cause they were not patriots. These statues are not just stone and metal. They are not just innocent remembrances of a benign history. These monuments purposefully celebrate a fictional, sanitized Confederacy; ignoring the death, ignoring the enslavement, and the terror that it actually stood for.”