New Orleans made national news last week when its city council voted 6-1 to remove four statues honoring Confederate president Jefferson Davis, General P.G.T. Beauregard, the Battle of Liberty Place, and even General Robert E. Lee whose likeness sits atop a massive column at the center of a plaza that shares his name.
While the decision would be a no-brainer on the East or West coasts, in the deep American south the move was controversial, as many cling to these symbols as representing Southern Heritage, not racism. While some are more open about their racism than others, most using the heritage jargon do so purely to mask their true malcontent.
Like the Confederate flag, most advocates for their removal state they don’t wish the sculptures to be destroyed, or for what they represent to be forgotten, but instead such relics belong in museums, not as objects to honor in our public commons.