Landrieu says taking down Lee statue will allow the city to heal

Jim Hanzo
May 19, 2017 - 3:56 pm

Mayor Mitch Landrieu spoke today at Gallier Hall as crews work to take down the last of the Confederate era monuments, the Robert E. Lee statue. 

Landrieu addressed the city and select patrons at Gallier Hall about the end of the removal of the four monuments that included monuments to The Battle of Liberty Place, the Jefferson Davis Memorial and the monument to P.G.T. Beauregard.

"These statues are not just stone and metal, not just innocent remembrances of a benign history, these monuments celebrate a fictional sanitized confederacy," Landrieu said.  "Ignoring the death, ignoring the enslavement, ignoring the terror that it actually stood for."   

And Landrieu said after the civil war these monuments were a part of the terrorism 

"As much as burning a cross on someone's lawn," Landrieu said.  "They were erected purposefully to send a strong message to all who walked in the shadows about who was still in charge in this city."  

Landrieu says he listened to people who were opposed to the monuments -- in particular, a black mother who wondered what she should tell her little girl when she asked why Robert E. Lee is towering above them.

"Can you look into the eyes of this young girl and convince her that Robert E. Lee is there to encourage her?" Landrieu said.  

The mayor explained why the statues needed to come down 

"These men did not fight for the United States of America, they fought against it," noted Landrieu.   

Landrieu says taking down a prominent statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee will allow his city to "heal and become the city we always should have been."


New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu's press conference on monuments

New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu gives a history lesson on the monuments that have been removed and discusses uniting the city.

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