What’s below is a short video in which New Orleans mayor Mitch Landrieu, who spent $2 million turning historical landmarks into scarred terrain around his city while neglecting the two most important public duties of a mayor in that city – namely, violent crime and water infrastructure – bragging about his “accomplishment.”
Landrieu says “I didn’t start the problems with race in this country, but I did force the people of New Orleans to confront them,” which is one way to describe what he’s done. Another way to describe it would be to say that he exacerbated racial tension not just in Orleans Parish but throughout the state of Louisiana and elsewhere on the Gulf Coast, he gave true racists a cause to rally behind which had been long dormant (there hadn’t been a large public display of confederate flag-waving in recent memory in New Orleans until the mayor began his stupid crusade), he devalued New Orleans as a tourist destination among a core customer base which had been loyal to the city (and combined with his other failures on crime and water infrastructure it’s only a matter of time before the numbers bear out the damage) and he distracted himself and his city from far more crucial matters for two whole years rather than address them.
And for all this Mitch Landrieu, this venal, intellectually-challenged, mendacious bully demands to be congratulated.
A note to other cities in less dire shape than New Orleans – don’t listen to a word this jackass says. Honor your history and heritage, even the parts of it you disfavor, because by understanding it you might learn from it and more successfully move forward. But above all, don’t allow preening simpletons among your elected representatives to burn down your civic comity by manufacturing crises like Landrieu did with the monuments. There is nothing but trouble and discord to be found in doing so, as New Orleans is realizing.
Mitch Landrieu is now being forced to admit that the mismanagement and ruin of the Sewerage & Water Board, which is entrusted with running the pumps keeping the city from inundation, is a long-standing phenomenon going back to the beginning of his tenure in office if not before. Rather than address this problem, he embarked on the monument crusade for his own selfish political reasons. His behavior is the very definition of awful leadership and eternal shame is its only just reward. But don’t expect him to recognize that or anything like it – he’s entirely satisfied with himself today.