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Andrew Jackson statue removal requested as part of larger argument

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On Thursday, Richard Marksbury, Ph.D. faced the City Council’s Governmental Affairs Committee to describe what he calls a very poorly written ordinance to remove monuments.

“It’s ill-conceived, and it’s dangerous,” Marksbury said.

Marksbury said the language of the ordinance allows for several other monuments to be considered for removal, and with that, he requested the Andrew Jackson statue in Jackson Square be added to the list as an example.

“His speech, his words certainly suggest that Jackson, according to the nuisance ordinance, suggest the supremacy of one group or race over another,” Marksbury said.

“It’s part of history, and I don’t think you can rewrite history or erase history,” Sharon Vaclavek said.

While not everyone agrees with the request to have the Jackson statue added to the removal list, Marksbury said the language of the ordinance allows it.

“It requires us to re-examine and analyze historical figures using contemporary values,” Marksbury said.

It was late last year when the City Council voted to declare the Robert E. Lee, Jefferson Davis, P.G.T. Beauregard and the Liberty Place Monument as public nuisances.

“I could make the argument today to get rid of the Bienville statue, to get rid of Churchill and to rename Roosevelt Street in City Park, because we are judging people by the values today, which is what this thing is,” Marksbury said.

Head believes something must be done.

“I challenge the council members and the mayor, who supported the removal of certain monuments, to bring closure to this dangerous precedent in some way,” Councilwoman Stacy Head said.

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