Over night Jefferson Davis died a second death as crews removed his monument in New Orleans [see video here]. The monument honored the president of a nation whose primary goal was the protection and expansion of slavery. That leaves two monuments, one honoring Robert E. Lee and the other P.G.T. Beauregard.
Unfortunately, the bubble wrap used to protect the monument gives the appearance that Davis is wearing a dress. It is a reminder of the stories that appeared following his capture on May 10, 1865 that Davis was wearing women’s clothing in an effort to hide from Union authorities.
Mayor Mitch Landrieu explains his decision in today’s Washington Post.
The record is clear: New Orleans’s Robert E. Lee, Jefferson Davis and P.G.T. Beauregard statues were erected with the goal of rewriting history to glorify the Confederacy and perpetuate the idea of white supremacy. These monuments stand not as mournful markers of our legacy of slavery and segregation, but in reverence of it. They are an inaccurate recitation of our past, an affront to our present and a poor prescription for our future.
With all four monuments removed this will be the most dramatic change to a major city’s commemorative landscape.