Movement pushes for New Orleans historical monuments to come down

Movement pushes for New Orleans historical monuments to come down

NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - The fight over the confederate flag in South Carolina is inspiring some in New Orleans to try and get rid of local monuments paying tribute to confederate leaders.

On Tuesday, #LeeCircleReplacement was one of the area's top trending issues on Twitter and the movement is gaining steam.

"For it to come down, I think that will be fine. I think that it will probably be something positive," New Orleans resident Lonel Simmons said.

"It's going to continue to upset more and more generations as the years pass on, so I do say take it down," long-time New Orleans resident Tramaine Allen said.

The monument for Confederate General Robert E. Lee is not the only monument some want torn down.

Pastor Shawn Anglim of the First Grace United Methodist on Jefferson Davis Parkway wants the monument of the former confederate president gone near his church.

"I think removing that statute is a real-concrete-symbolic step of where we want to go as New Orleanians," Anglim said.

But some New Orleanians argue the city will fail to move forward by taking down historical monuments.

"It's not like this is a center piece for people to come hold some sort of racist gathering sort of speak. I really don't have a problem with it myself, like I said, I think it's an historical landmark that needs to remain part of the city," former New Orleans resident Rob Amason said.

"It's ridiculous to try and erase a part of our history, just because at this time, there is this controversy going on about those poor people killed in South Carolina," Louisiana's Sons of Confederate Veterans Thomas Taylor said.

Taylor believes the nation is jumping to judgment.

"They are saying the confederacy and the monuments and the symbols are creating a hostile environment for tourism, No, in New Orleans, what's creating a hostile environment for tourism is the murder rate," Taylor said.

UNO Historian Dr. Mary Niall Mitchell feels the monuments create a divide by they give only one side's interpretation of the Civil War.

"It's a very complicated and difficult question and we're not the only city in the south who have dealt with it," Mitchell said.

She believes the time for a discussion on whether to take the monuments down is long overdue.

"I can see certainly that they are very problematic for communities. [Some citizens] didn't have a hand in deciding those monuments would be going up in their cities. I think it has to be a community decision now on what to do with them," she said.

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