I am a member of Save Our Circle. I think that most members of SOC are residents of Orleans Parish or otherwise have close connections to New Orleans. Have you ever considered that many people who presently live in St. Tammany Parish, Jefferson Parish or elsewhere might prefer to live in New Orleans (because it is a charming city) except for the fact that it is one of the most dangerous and crime-ridden cities in the United States?
I was born in New Orleans and lived there all of my life but presently live in Cuenca, Ecuador, a city with about the same population as New Orleans but about one-tenth of the murders. After having been the victim of attempted armed robbery in New Orleans, after my cousin was carjacked at gunpoint, after my elderly neighbor was bludgeoned to death with a hammer, after my friend’s daughter was kidnapped and taken into a housing project and raped, after an acquaintance was murdered coming out of Jazz Fest, I decided that New Orleans is a very dangerous place to live or visit.
It is in everyone’s interest to stop the insanity that is now occurring in New Orleans no matter where they live because that insanity is not just a local problem but a national problem, which will continue to grow if not recognized for what it is. When I grew up in New Orleans in the 1950s and 1960s, murder, rape, armed robbery and home invasions hardly ever happened. Now, they seem a daily, if not hourly occurrence.
I think it fair to say that Mayor Mitch Landrieu knows exactly what he is doing in creating a so-called “monuments controversy” to distract from the fact that his record on crime prevention has been an abysmal failure. Like many other politicians, he fails to address the root causes of crime. Otherwise, he would also be championing the renaming of his alma mater, Loyola University, named after a Catholic theologian who taught that slavery was a means of protecting and serving the poor and who founded a religious order that was one of the major slave holders in colonial Louisiana.
If New Orleans’ monuments are so controversial, why are the same people who desecrated and protested the Beauregard, Lee, Davis, Jackson, White, Bienville and Liberty Place monuments not also protesting against the monument for Martin Luther King Jr., who was named after a Protestant theologian who openly called for the genocide and enslavement of Jews or against the Buffalo Soldier monument erected in honor of African-Americans who helped the U.S. Army commit genocide against Native Americans? Why has there been no call for reparations being paid by the descendants of the numerous African-Americans who owned slaves or who fought for the Confederacy?