Tuesday, May 23, 2017


New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu gave a very fine speech about the city's decision to remove Confederate monuments from public places, and I commend it to you. Excerpt:
The historic record is clear: the Robert E. Lee, Jefferson Davis, and P.G.T. Beauregard statues were not erected just to honor these men, but as part of the movement which became known as The Cult of the Lost Cause. This ‘cult’ had one goal — through monuments and through other means — to rewrite history to hide the truth, which is that the Confederacy was on the wrong side of humanity.

First erected over 166 years after the founding of our city and 19 years after the end of the Civil War, the monuments that we took down were meant to rebrand the history of our city and the ideals of a defeated Confederacy.

It is self-evident that these men did not fight for the United States of America, They fought against it. They may have been warriors, but in this cause they were not patriots.

These statues are not just stone and metal. They are not just innocent remembrances of a benign history. These monuments purposefully celebrate a fictional, sanitized Confederacy; ignoring the death, ignoring the enslavement, and the terror that it actually stood for.

After the Civil War, these statues were a part of that terrorism as much as a burning cross on someone’s lawn; they were erected purposefully to send a strong message to all who walked in their shadows about who was still in charge in this city.
But we are not usually concerned with good writing here, so let's turn to its opposite, the Mayor's coverage by one John Binder at Breitbart. Here's his lede:
The monument to General Robert E. Lee was removed from its pedestal in Lee Circle at the heart of the city of New Orleans. Mayor Mitch Landrieu used the event to claim victory for political correctness.
Some people say they're amazed by the Trump-era paradox of onetime McCarthyites ferociously defending Russia, but their propaganda has been Soviet in nature for quite some time.

Binder also works a waste-of-taxpayer-money angle ("as New Orleans Police Department [NOPD] and New Orleans Fire Department [NOFD] officials were present at each of the removal processes"), and tries to give his Lost Cause a touch of Confederate class by claiming "historians" had been "asking [Landrieu] to add context to the monuments, rather than removing them altogether." Binder gives no supporting link for this claim, so maybe he's talking about "historians" in the same sense that this 2015 PJ Media story talks about "historic preservationists" -- that is, people who offer no credentials but who consider Robert E. Lee "history" they wish to "preserve," i.e. treason in defense of slavery.

Binder climaxes, perhaps literally, by disputing Landrieu's claim that that the statues have "run people out of the city":
Historians have refuted this claim in 2015, when Landrieu first demanded the monuments come down. They argued that the city serves tourists and locals as a public history museum, unlike any other city in the U.S.
Because that's why people come to the Big Easy -- to meditate on the Confederacy. What after all is there about statues of prominent Confederates that would drive people away -- well, white people, anyway?

Man. After 150 years, they're still sore losers.

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