A Washington Post columnist has an idea to replace the Robert E. Lee monument, one of four Confederate monuments slated for removal in New Orleans.
In a column published Wednesday, opinion writer Charles Lane suggests that the city replace the Lee monument with one dedicated to James Longstreet, an obscure Civil War figure who rose to join Lee’s inner circle, but later distinguished himself as ‘the rare ex-Rebel to accept the South’s defeat, and its consequences.
“He urged fellow white Southerners to support the federal government and help rebuild their region on the basis of greater racial equality. He joined Abraham Lincoln’s Republican Party,” Lane writes.
Later, in the 1870s, Longstreet fought against white supremacists in the streets of New Orleans, according to Lane.
“Longstreet risked his life for the worst cause Americans ever espoused, then for the best one. In short, he epitomized this nation’s saving grace, and humanity’s: the capacity to learn from our mistakes, and to change,” Lane said in his article.
On Tuesday, a federal judge denied a request for a temporary restraining order against the city, removing what may be the final hurdle in Mayor Mitch Landrieu’s push to take down four public monuments related to the Confederacy.