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The city of New Orleans will take down a prominent statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee on Friday, completing the southern city’s removal of four Confederate-related statues that some called divisive.

Unlike the first three statues, city officials plan to take Lee’s statue down during the day, with Mayor Mitch Landrieu planning a major speech Friday afternoon to explain his reasoning.

In a news release obtained by The Associated Press, the city said the statues were “erected decades after the Civil War to celebrate the ‘Cult of the Lost Cause,’ a movement recognized across the South as celebrating and promoting white supremacy.”

Landrieu had proposed the removal of the monuments after the 2015 massacre of nine black parishioners at a South Carolina church. The killer, Dylann Roof, was an avowed racist who brandished Confederate battle flags in photos. That recharged the debate over whether Confederate emblems represent racism or an honorable heritage.

The Robert E. Lee statue was a familiar landmark for tourists and commuters who travel busy St. Charles Avenue by car or on one of the city’s historic streetcars.

Erected in 1884, Lee’s is the last of four monuments to Confederate-era figures to be removed in accordance with a 2015 City Council vote.

The city removed a statue of Confederate President Jefferson Davis last week; a statue of Confederate Gen. P.G.T. Beauregard on Wednesday; and a monument memorializing a deadly 1874 white-supremacist uprising in April.

Those three statues were taken down in the pre-dawn hours without advance public notice, a precautionary measure after officials said threats had been made against contractors and workers involved in the effort.

Of the four monuments, Lee’s was easily the most prominent, with the bronze statue alone being close to 20 feet tall. It’s an image of Lee standing tall in uniform, with his arms crossed defiantly, looking toward the northern horizon from atop a roughly 60-foot-tall column.

It towered over a traffic circle — Lee Circle — in an area between the office buildings of the city’s business district and stately 19th century mansions in the nearby Garden District.

Landrieu drew blistering criticism from monument supporters and even some political allies. But he insisted throughout that the statues honoring the Confederate figures must go.

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9 thoughts on “New Orleans Removes Final Confederate Statue

  1. Willie on said:

    DOWN-TRODDEN; EXTENSION OF TIME: This move could mean that GOD will give America an Extension of Time, unlike Pharaoh, who would NOT Change from oppressing the down-trodden.

  2. specialt757 on said:

    I bet not one of the torches-tote’n-crackas were willing to buy those statues for ornaments for their trailer park yards. Too bad the city’s not able to set them ablazed in city center for all to see.

    • mrknowitall on said:

      Remember this you black racist, the first cracker was and to this day is a black slave catching Muslim whip cracker.

    • Wille on said:

      @P.Johnson, you and I are DIRECT Relatives bec. my last name is JOHNSON too, which means your great, great grandfather copulated with my great, great grandmother! American History reveals that’s how Black People obtained the LAST NAME they have. Unequivocally, your blood line has Black Blood as mine have white blood, which is traced back to the previous…though you may disagree, WE are Cousins or Relatives by virtue of our IRREFUTABLE Ancestors.

      • Will- you are so correct.We are all of the same blood.( like it or not.) Black people are not going forward -They are showing impiety towards others that think in a civil manner..

      • Terrell, it is also VITAL to know that Black people & white people of America are direct relatives via the impregnation of our great, great grandmothers by the plantation owners IS the Greatest Secret Of All Times. Most, if not ALL white supremacist have Black Blood in them is irrefutable IS The Greatest Secret of All Times!!

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