Mitch Landrieu took his self-congratulatory tour over removing the Confederate monuments back to Washington D.C. This time, he spoke at the Center for American Progress about removing the Confederate monuments.
From The Advocate:
Mayor Mitch Landrieu offered an impassioned defense Friday of his administration’s removal of four Jim Crow-era monuments in New Orleans, portraying the effort as a necessary precursor to mending racial divisions.
Delivering a speech in the nation’s capital, Landrieu said he was “saddened” by the uproar that accompanied the decision, mentioning threats that prompted construction crews to “wear masks to protect their identity from domestic terrorists” as they took down statues of three Confederate leaders and a fourth monument that commemorated a Reconstruction-era uprising.
“I, the mayor of a major American city in the midst of one of the greatest rebuildings that the country has ever seen, could not lease a crane because all of the crane operators had been blacklisted,” Landrieu said at the Center for American Progress, a progressive public policy and advocacy organization.
Landrieu also took aim at those who said he should focus on crime instead of removing Confederate monuments.
“I respectfully ask if you’ve ever thought about the possibility that these monuments, in a way, are murder,” he said. “By design, they’re not just metal and stone. They were crafted to send a message.”
Earlier, Landrieu had said the monuments had forced people to leave New Orleans. It’s another example of Landrieu’s apparent belief that speech equals violence.
Landrieu once again downplayed his presidential aspirations. In his first answer to an audience question, he denied that he was going to run for president.
But it is clear that Landrieu is going to milk this in order gain himself attention. If it doesn’t result in a presidential bid, he can use the monuments in order to continue to distract from New Orleans’s current state.