Monumental Imbeciles

Most of our readers are aware that amid the furor of the social-justice crowd over Southern racism in the aftermath of the Dylann Roof murders in Charleston two years ago, a widespread effort to scrub the “symbols” of that racism manifested itself across the South.

Perhaps the most dogged of those manifestations has come in New Orleans, where four statues deemed symbols of racism by that city’s Hard Left mob — the iconic Robert E. Lee statue in the traffic circle bearing his name, the statue of Jefferson Davis along the street named for him, the equestrian statue of P.G.T. Beauregard in City Park, and the monument to the Battle Of Liberty Place on Canal Boulevard — have been the subject of a campaign for removal.

Despite passionate efforts by historical preservationists to beat back the effort, starting in a hopeless battle at the City Council where they were rejected both by its members and that city’s mayor Mitch Landrieu, the removal is nearly upon us. A last-ditch effort at a court challenge failed earlier this month at the Fifth Circuit, which ruled that the city owns the monuments and has the power to remove them, and all that stands in the way of the cranes might be a bill filed in the Louisiana legislature by Rep. Thomas Carmody (R-Shreveport) which would put the state in a position to trump the city where the monuments are concerned.

Poll after poll in Louisiana clearly shows two-thirds or more of the state’s population is opposed to removing historical landmarks. Louisiana’s Democrat governor John Bel Edwards, who ran and won on having attended West Point and adhering to its honor code, has begged off on previous efforts to preserve monuments through state legislation — Edwards calls the question a local one and had his allies kill historical preservation bills last year by routing them into unfriendly committees.

But Edwards is two years out from re-election. And with Donald Trump having beaten Hillary Clinton by 20 points last fall, in the same cycle Edwards’ endorsee Foster Campbell was throttled by nearly 25 percent by Republican John Kennedy in the state’s U.S. Senate race, it looks like the governor is increasingly vulnerable the way a Democrat in charge of a deeply red state should be. And with three special elections for the state House Saturday resulting in defeat for Edwards-supported candidates, it’s increasingly obvious his agenda doesn’t sell to folks who have seen it in action. He might do himself some good with those voters statewide by moving Carmody’s bill and signing it before Landrieu’s bulldozers and cranes do their work.

If that’s possible. The removal is imminent, and the legislative session at which Carmody’s bill will be heard won’t begin until April 10.

Landrieu should be salivating over his imminent triumph at the expense of Lee, Davis, and Beauregard, but the guess here is he’s more relieved that his term ends in a few months. By aligning himself with the removal crowd, he has set in motion an orgy of Taliban-like destruction of the city’s history for which he won’t likely be forgotten.

Why? Because the group spearheading the effort to dump Lee et al. isn’t celebrating anything. Take ’Em Down NOLA, the activist outfit which has been demonstrating in front of and vandalizing those monuments to prove them a public nuisance and satisfy the city ordinance sanctioning their removal, last week put out a whole new list of targets they’d like to shoot at now.

Take ’Em Down NOLA is, by the way, made up of abject imbeciles. An actual quote

Gavrielle Gemma, also a coordinator with Take ‘Em Down NOLA, said the historic monuments embolden today’s white supremacists.

“Taking down these statues is part of the overall struggle for social and economic justice now,” she said.

Gavrielle Gemma doesn’t run Take ’Em Down NOLA. It’s run by another clown named Malcolm Suber — who has plied his trade as a community activist in the slums of that city for a long time. Suber once ran for the New Orleans City Council and got a whopping 1 percent of the vote, and he’s semi-famous locally for antics like heading a recall effort against Councilwoman Stacy Head for the sin of being a white woman representing a “black” district, demanding that neighborhoods that were crime- and poverty-ridden in New Orleans pre-Katrina stay that way after the hurricane, and standing against efforts to create school choice in what had been America’s worst public school system. Outside of sloppy tributes paid to him by left-wing rags like the Nation, he’s largely been considered a joke.

Until Landrieu made him somebody by agreeing to ride Suber’s bowdlerizing crazy train. And now, Suber is working on Round Two. What’s on deck?

How about the statue of Andrew Jackson in Jackson Square? Yes. He wants Jackson, who led the American forces which won the Battle Of New Orleans and saved the city from British conquest in the War Of 1812, scrubbed.

Suber also wants Tulane University, a private school, renamed, because Paul Tulane was a donor to the fledgling Confederate States of America, and Touro Infirmary, a private non-profit hospital named for antebellum philanthropist Judah Touro, renamed. Don’t ask why; I have no idea.

He wants the streets named after Pierre Le Moyne d’Iberville, the French explorer who founded Louisiana, and Jean-Baptiste Le Moyne de Bienville, d’Iberville’s brother, who founded New Orleans, renamed. Also, he wants a street named for Charles de Gaulle renamed. Plus other notable figures who don’t pass muster with the Take ’Em Down clowns — President Zachary Taylor, Louisiana Gov. Francis T. Nicholls, philanthropist John McDonogh, Supreme Court Chief Justice E.D. White (the only Louisianan to serve in that capacity), Henry Clay, U.S. Senator John Slidell… the list goes on.

Landrieu has given Suber an inch — to understate the case. Now he wants his mile, and Landrieu has no leg to stand on in opposition other than to pass the mess he created on to the next mayor.

Assuming he even cares to stop the bleeding of the city’s history, that is.

Scott McKay
Scott McKay
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Scott McKay is publisher of the Hayride, which offers news and commentary on Louisiana and national politics.
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