Editor’s note: A guest post from Etienne de Bore’, who is no longer an actual person but rather a nom de plume of a Hayride reader formerly residing in New Orleans who wishes to avoid the inconvenience of nasty e-mails from both sides.
I am NOT in favor of removing historic monuments. I especially think it is stupid to take down the Robert E. Lee statue at Lee Circle, a New Orleans landmark.
Nevertheless, what gripes me most about the issue is its nonsensical nature on both sides.
I find it incredibly disappointing that the mayor of New Orleans, in the midst of all the challenges and problems New Orleans faces, chose this issue to be his legacy. And make no mistake: this will be his legacy. He has no other accomplishments or achievements of note in his 8 years in office.
It is the ultimate in irony that Mayor Landrieu used NOPD SWAT and riot control officers to see to it that the monuments be taken down. Meanwhile, his city’s murder rate is now north of Chicago’s (which has a murder rate higher than that of Baghdad, Iraq).
Landrieu has piddled around and allowed NOPD to continue to founder under a shortage of officers–both experienced officers and new recruits–during the entire course of his administration. It is clear that devoting the necessary resources to building up NOPD to a level commensurate with a city the size of New Orleans was never going to be atop his priority list.
But he sure found the resources to deploy New Orleans’ finest to remove statues.
It’s also a bit ironic that he used the New Orleans Fire Department for the task as well, given that, just a few years ago, Landrieu defied the law in refusing to pay a court-ordered settlement in a suit that the firefighters won fair and square against the city years ago.
So the monuments will come down and what will have been accomplished by this action? Absolutely nothing positive of note. If anything old wounds have been opened and new avenues of mistrust have been paved. If the statues had been such a problem, why didn’t Mayors Morial, Bartholomew, Morial and Nagin raise the issue?
It seems that few in New Orleans cared that much. The movement started from outside and now Landrieu has created a flame that moths such as Antifa have flown to–from out of state.
The opposing side is not without fault either.
I personally have received appeals from uptown New Orleans socialites to “do something” about the monuments. All of a sudden, people who never were politically active before decided that THIS was the issue to bring them out.
They had sat back for years and yawned as the city’s crime rate continued to skyrocket. As business after business vacated the city over the past decade, this bunch stayed on the sidelines.
But all of a sudden, the Jefferson Davis statue might come down so, they jump into action like Paul Revere!
They’ll have to excuse the rest of the country if we mostly ignore them at this point.
We’ve got bigger fish to fry.
New Orleans does too, but neither side in this fight seems to want to work on real issues.