Confederate monument removal bid process stalled amid threats, unresolved court case, city of New Orleans says _lowres

Advocate staff photo by MATTHEW HINTON--A diverse group of streetcar riders pass by Lee Circle in New Orleans, La. Thursday, July 9, 2015 where an 1884 monument to Confederate General Robert E. Lee was placed in what once was Tivoli Circle or Place du Tivoli. New Orleans only spent 15 months in the Confederacy and spent the majority of the Civil War under Union control when the city was captured in 1862 with zero casualties. The monuments that current Mayor Mitch Landrieu has asked to be removed from the public view in the city, which is 58% African American, were all placed many years after the Civil War as monuments to white supremacy. The Lee statue was commissioned and erected by the Lee Monument Association made up of ex-Confederates, their children, and white Southerners.

There is nothing inspirational about tearing down statues in New Orleans, what has long been considered the European city of America.

Seven people are responsible for this ill-conceived travesty. The mayor and six council people, save for one. If a vote was taken, most in New Orleans who realize that our city statues were created by sculptors trained in Europe would realize how important these iconic, 19th century statues are to the city's aesthetic beauty.

Think where we would be if we had allowed a high-rise expressway over the French Quarter, or the Sound and Light show that was suggested by the ill-advised patriarchs of the past who had so wanted to turn our riverfront into a circus. We reversed the poorly conceived idea of no streetcars for years, and now streetcars are filled with tourists and residents. But this idea of tearing down not history but a treasure trove of art, unlike anywhere else, is basically criminal and irreversible. People are being told one cannot live with these statues, but what they can live with is squalor abounding in this murderous city, with illegal habitation of vagrants and criminals lining our streets, people urinating in public and worse. Inappropriate behavior seems to be the way of the future. Very, very, very sad. Ignorance is a hard thing to defeat. 

Cassandra Sharpe

real estate broker

New Orleans