Burnt in effigy, forever, is the symbol of Mayor Mitch Landrieu for up-ending what the monument protectors consider to be the loving civil society of New Orleans.
Masked city workers in New Orleans dismantled a massive horseback statue of Confederate Gen. P.G.T. Beauregard early Wednesday as the city attempts to rid itself of public works that celebrate the memory of the Confederacy, officials said.
One more statue remains to be taken down, of Gen. Robert E. Lee.
Those removing the first two memorials generally wore bulletproof vests, helmets and face coverings to shield their identities as the work took place well after midnight to minimize attention.
Edwards, a Democrat, attended the United States Military Academy at West Point, just like some of the Confederate soldiers depicted in the statues.
"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. The city said due to "intimidation, threats, and violence, serious safety concerns remain" it wouldn't announce a timeline for Lee's removal.
New Orleans Louisiana Mayor Mitch Landrieu. Manuel Balce Ceneta AP
Landrieu had proposed removing the monuments after the 2015 massacre of nine black parishioners at a SC church.
As Landrieu enters his final 12 months in office, leading up to the city's 300th anniversary celebration, his administration has chosen to create a park with a water feature and public art in place of Lee. Three depict individuals deeply influential within the Confederacy, and the fourth honors an insurrection of mostly Confederate veterans who battled against the City's racially integrated police and state militia.
"Mitch Landrieu removed a monument to G.T. Beauregard, arguably the most historically significant Creole to ever live".
IL native John Renner, who is white, said the statue should remain because it represents history. In 1932, the City added a plaque to the monument, which stated that the statue commemorated the "overthrow of carpetbag government, ousting the usurpers...and the national election of November 1876 recognized white supremacy in the South and gave us our state". "We have monuments owned by ... cities ... and we have representatives governing those (cities)", Edwards said. It was commissioned by the Jefferson Davis Memorial Association.
On one side of the tense divide, there are those who are protecting the New Orleans civil war era monuments.
City officials say the monuments don't "appropriately reflect the values of diversity and inclusion that make New Orleans strong today".
The statue of Lee, who commanded Confederate armies against the Union in the Civil War, was the most prominent of the four statues, his bronze figure standing almost 20 feet (6 meters) tall in uniform, arms crossed defiantly, gazing northward. Kennedy says he loves his native South.
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