Amid the continuing national debate about the appropriateness of Confederate monuments and flags in the wake of the massacre of nine people at a Charleston, South Carolina, church and the arrest of the suspected shooter, an avowed white supremacist, someone spray-painted “Black Lives Matter” on the statue of Confederate Gen. P.G.T. Beauregard in New Orleans over the weekend.
Beauregard, from St. Bernard Parish, was one of the South’s most prominent generals during the Civil War.
His aide, William Porcher Miles, designed the Confederate battle flag that is the best-known emblem of the Southern cause.
The equestrian statue stands in the traffic circle at the entrance to City Park and the New Orleans Museum of Art.
Mayor Mitch Landrieu last week called for removal of four prominent “divisive statues” and their replacement with symbols that he said would “reflect the culture, unity, hope and future of New Orleans as the city looks to its 300th anniversary in 2018.”
The four monuments are the Beauregard statue, the Gen. Robert E. Lee statue at Lee Circle, the Jefferson Davis monument on Jefferson Davis Parkway and the so-called Liberty Monument to the Crescent City White League near the foot of Canal Street.
“Prominent locations in our city ... ought to reflect the unity, diversity, culture and the wonderful things that bring us together rather than something in our history that has separated us,” Landrieu said.