Trumpet star Blanchard: Confederate statue removal historic

Trumpet star Blanchard: Confederate statue removal historic

Workers in New Orleans took down a Confederate monument to Gen. PGT Beauregard shortly after 3am Wednesday, the third of four such monuments to come down in the city as part of a removal process that has been anything but easy.

"We have to acknowledge that the Confederacy was on the wrong side of history and that the people in the city of New Orleans have the right to honor in places that they own statues or mementos or commemorative matters that reflect our whole history and not just a narrow version of it", the mayor said.

The statue - which honors the man who led a Confederate army in the attack that launched the Civil War - is the third of four Confederate-era monuments vowed to take down, according to the city.

The public memorials to Beauregard and other heroes of the U.S. Civil War's pro-slavery Confederacy have been denounced by critics as an affront to the ideals of multi-racial tolerance and diversity in the majority-black Louisiana city.

Historians, in the past, have said that the opposite is true of New Orleans, however, arguing that the city attracts tourists and residents because of its rich history and public museum-like displays.

Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee's statue at Lee Circle was erected in 1884.

"These statues are not just stone and metal".

Monument supporters, said the works are a way to remember and honor history. "These monuments celebrate a fictional, sanitized Confederacy; ignoring the death, ignoring the enslavement, ignoring the terror that it actually stood for".

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Unlike the earlier statues, city officials were taking Lee's statue down in broad daylight.

Unlike the first three statues, city officials plan to take Lee's statue down during the day. New Orleans was one of the largest ports active in the slave trade, where thousands of souls "were bought, sold and shipped up the Mississippi River to lives of forced labor, of misery, of rape and torture", he said. Lee's is the last to be removed in accordance with a 2015 City Council vote. Friday's removal effort comes after a long and divisive battle over whether old South emblems represent racism or an honorable heritage.

Mayor Mitch Landrieu began pushing for the monuments' removal in 2015 after Dylann Roof massacred nine black Charleston churchgoers.

The removal of the statues follows a final decision on March 8, 2017 by the United States District Court of the Eastern District of Louisiana affirming the City's legal right to remove the statue.

And where the monuments once stood, public art and an American flag are among the pieces that will replace them.

Certain conditions apply, however; the statues can not be displayed outdoors on public property in New Orleans.

Each removal has drawn protests from those who have sought to keep the monuments in place, with several people standing vigil at the Davis statue and waving Confederate battle flags even as a crane lifted it off its pedestal.

Jesse J. Holland covers race and ethnicity for The Associated Press.

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