On Feb. 16, you printed a letter by Jefferson Parish Clerk of Court Jon Gegenheimer entitled “A Compromise Plan for Civil War Monuments.” I find that letter to be completely out of place.
Obviously, Gegenheimer does not know there is a dividing line between Jefferson Parish and Orleans Parish. I do not believe that the City Council of New Orleans inquired of Gegenheimer about his plan for said monuments nor do I believe that the mayor made a similar inquiry. In fact, Gegenheimer should have no input into the decision of the City of New Orleans about removing these monuments as Clerk of Court for Jefferson Parish.
Is he allowed to have a private opinion as to the disposition of these monuments? Absolutely. To paraphrase Simone Elkele, “Opinions are like noses, everyone has one.” But as the clerk of court for Jefferson Parish, he might be interpreted to speak for me and all the other citizens from the parish, and I do not think that everyone in the parish agrees with him. I know I don’t.
If he is so concerned with monuments, he has to look no further than in front of his office. There resides a statue of a man who was a major slave owner (he owned in excess of 130 slaves) and he was a rapist (Sally Hemming did not come to his bed willingly). Yes, I am talking about Thomas Jefferson. He would be well advised to clean up his own backyard before he goes mucking around in others.