The time capsule for the Beauregard Monument was unveiled and it contained no items displaying the white supremacy that Mitch Landrieu and the City Council insisted was the motivation of the people who put the monument up.
Mitch’s reasoning for removing four historic monuments became what he said was the motivation as to why they were put up. The City Council voted that the monuments were a public “nuisance” in 2015, but the vocal opposition raged in support of the monuments. Instead of proving the monuments to be nuisances, which Mitch could not, he convicted the New Orleanians who erected the monuments as racist, white supremacists and he used that motivation to gain support. Because everyone opposes racists. But the people who knew Mitch Landrieu was lying continued to oppose him, so then Mitch made them out to be racists. Mitch and his revisionists made up the white supremacist story as they went along, retelling it in a hateful and narrow minded, intolerant monologue.
After Mitch stole the Robert E. Lee monument from the city on May 19, 2017, he gave a speech that was hailed by the media. But reporters don’t care about Democrats being factual. These are some highlights from Mitch’s speech after removing Lee, which was the foundation for this campaign:
“The historic record is clear, the Robert E. Lee, Jefferson Davis, and P.G.T. Beauregard statues were not erected just to honor these men, but as part of the movement which became known as The Cult of the Lost Cause. This ‘cult’ had one goal — through monuments and through other means — to rewrite history to hide the truth. … The monuments that we took down were meant to rebrand the history of our city and the ideals of a defeated Confederacy. … They were erected purposefully to send a strong message to all who walked in their shadows about who was still in charge in this city. … These Confederate monuments were first erected as symbols of white supremacy.”
Mitch Landrieu has never produced the slightest evidence to support these lies. And with the opening of the time capsule, all that was revealed–from the actual people who erected the monuments–were remnants of the past: currency, bonds, flags, a seal, medals, newspapers, a city guide. Items otherwise regarded as historic artifacts not symbols of conniving racists.
The primary argument offered by the Removalist coalition in New Orleans was fundamentally flawed. The foundation of their case has been the association of the artwork with the label of “white supremacy.” No reasonable person in this day supports racial supremacy. When the Removalist campaign connected the historic monuments to racism, they did so in a very deliberate way, aiming to scare off the opposition by stereotyping them as “bigots,” “racists,” or “white supremacists.”
Mitch’s white supremacist claims remain unchallenged. Preservationists have argued the men’s merits, but no one in the media ever pressed Mitch Landrieu, Hayne Rainey, Tyronne Walker, Quess Moore, or Malcolm Suber to provide proof that the monuments were erected to further white supremacy. The Removalists mentioned have all made outrageous, false accusations and passed them off as factual.
“These statues were not erected to honor these men in these prominent spaces because these men were honorable,” Council Member Susan Guidry said in December 2015. Council Member Jared Brossett said the monuments were erected to remind African-Americans of slavery and continued white supremacy.
These comments were conjecture and fabrications. They are examples of 21st Century people making up history the way they thought it should be told.
When Robert E. Lee, Jefferson Davis, and G. T. Beauregard passed away, people wanted to memorialize them. Their monuments were funded by New Orleanians, not the City Government or the Confederacy, and the artworks were commissioned decades after the War ended. The Beauregard Monument was unveiled in 1915, 50 years after fighting ceased. These war memorials were productive initiatives to enhance New Orleans. It took years to raise funds. In the case of the Davis and Beauregard monuments, fundraising lasted two decades.
Yet the out-of-state Times Picayune writes with complete editorialized bias in its article about the unveiling: “Some of the antiques may be worth thousands of dollars, but the symbolism embodied in the Jim Crow era relics will make them anathema to many onlookers.”
The Advocate echoed the liberal lies by writing that the monuments, “sprouted up throughout the South as part of an effort to recast the war as a romantic Lost Cause rather than a battle over slavery.” The Advocate also referred to the removed landmarks as “Jim Crow-era monuments” yet nothing Jim Crow related was found in the time capsule.
None of the plethora or news stations covering the event asked Lt. Governor Nungesser about ownership. So far the statue is in the possession of the City, the pedestal is in possession of City Park, and the accompanying time capsule is in possession of the State Museum. And no reporters from WWL, WDSU, WGNO, WVUE, Times Picayune, or the Advocate thought to seek clarification on the ownership of historic assets that have been removed from the public’s view after being displayed for a century.
When the Beauregard time capsule contents were unveiled on August 3, 2018, nearly 105 years after they were compiled, nothing substantiated the false premise Mitch created, and the media still parrots, to remove historic works of art.
The interim director of the Louisiana State Museum, Steven Maklansky, said, “The people who put this together just wanted to leave some record of this time period by sealing this box within the monument.”
The professional museum director gave an entirely different opinion than the politician with national ambitions.