New Orleans has begun its removal of several Confederate statues throughout the city, as a means of reflecting the progress it has made since its inception.
Early Monday morning city workers started working on taking the Liberty Monument down first. The Liberty Monument was made in 1891 to honor the Crescent City White League, an organization created in 1874 to turn Republicans out of office and intimidate freedmen from voting and political organizing.
The statue even has the following written on it: “United States troops took over the state government and reinstates the usurpers but the national election November 1876 recognized white supremacy in the south and gave us our state.”
After the Liberty Monument, other monuments such as those of Gens. Robert E. Lee and P.G.T. Beauregard, as well as Confederate States of America President Jefferson Davis, are slated to be removed in the following several days.
“There’s a better way to use the property these monuments are on and a way that better reflects who we are,” New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu said in an interview Sunday with the Associated Press.
“The monuments are an aberration,” Landrieu added. “They’re actually a denial of our history and they were done in a time when people who still controlled the Confederacy were in charge of this city, and it only represents a four-year period in our 1,000-year march to where we are today.”
The decision to remove the statues has its share of both critics and supporters, which is why the city has not revealed further information about the remaining statues that will be taken down.