Confederate Monuments Emails

In this May 19, 2017 file photo, a statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee is removed from Lee Circle in New Orleans. Lee's was the last of four monuments to Confederate-era figures to be removed under a 2015 City Council vote on a proposal by Mayor Mitch Landrieu. State Rep. Patricia Smith, a black Baton Rouge Democrat, received 105 emails alone, almost all favoring a proposal by her Republican colleague Thomas Carmody that would have erected obstacles to tearing down such monuments.

Take ‘Em Down NOLA, a group that has pushed for the removal of Confederate symbolism in the city, is blasting Cantrell for not bringing those who supported the removal of four statues last year to the table to discuss what to do with the monuments.

In response to news that Cantrell had set up a working group made up of people who opposed Mayor Mitch Landrieu’s plans to remove the statues, Take ‘Em Down issued an open letter saying the plan was “wrong and disrespectful to the people of the city.”

“We are very disappointed and angry that you would set up a secret working group to discuss the fate of these monuments, not meet in public, and only include people who wanted these monuments to stay up,” according to the letter.

“We therefore ask you to disband the secret working group immediately,” the letter concludes. “We further ask you to outline what public process you will use to seek to hear the voices of the people and what public process you will use to decide how these statues are to be disposed of.”

Follow Faimon A. Roberts III on Twitter, @faimon.