National Urban League President and CEO Marc H. Morial and Erika McConduit, President and CEO of the Urban League of Louisiana, issued the following statement in response to the removal of the Jefferson Davis monument in New Orleans:
“Symbols honoring the leaders of the bloody campaign to defend slavery have served only to divide and demean our nation and our city for more than a century now. Efforts to remove such symbols from public places of honor in New Orleans date at least as far back as the early 1980’s when Mayor Dutch Morial sought to move the Liberty Monument honoring white supremacists who attacked Black police and militia members.
“Such objects of reverence do not honor the history of New Orleans, but are rather part of a revisionist history campaign known as the Lost Cause of the Confederacy. The Lost Cause movement sought to downplay slavery as the primary motivation of the Civil War, portraying it instead as a struggle to preserve the Southern way of life.
“New Orleans has a rich, diverse history, with many figures worthy of honor and respect. The Civil War and slavery are part of that history, and it is paramount that we remember those events and people through a clear lens, not one clouded by misdirected reverence and revisionism.
“We applaud Mayor Mitch Landrieu for defending our true history, celebrating the city’s diversity and strength, and demonstrating that New Orleans will not bow to the threats of racists like David Duke. Rather, we will look toward the future as we write history every day with optimism, respect and the inclusion of all.”
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