BLACK VOICES

New Orleans Gives Confederate Monuments The Boot

"We think that symbols matter here, and we want the symbols in the city to reflect really who New Orleans is."

Many cities would erect a statue in honor of their 300th anniversary. New Orleans, set to celebrate its 300th birthday in 2018, will be tearing several down.

The City Council voted 6-1 Thursday in favor of removing four Confederate monuments, a proposal that has generated much controversy since Mayor Mitch Landrieu called for their relocation this summer, following a fatal shooting at a historic black church in South Carolina.

The statues include a large monument to Confederate General Robert E. Lee located near the city center, one of Jefferson Davis (the first -- and only -- president of the Confederate States of America), and one of Gen. P.G.T. Beauregard. A fourth, which acknowledges the Battle of Liberty Place, will also be moved.

A 60 ft (18 m) tall monument to Confederate General Robert E. Lee towers over a traffic circle in New Orleans, Louisiana June
A 60 ft (18 m) tall monument to Confederate General Robert E. Lee towers over a traffic circle in New Orleans, Louisiana June 24, 2015. New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu on Wednesday morning called for the replacement of the statue.

New Orleans' Times-Picayune reports that the statues won't be destroyed; they'll instead likely end up in a museum or a Civil War park.

"Post Katrina, what we’ve said is, 'We’re going to build this city back, not the way it was, but the way it should’ve always been had we gotten it right the first time,'" Mayor Landrieu told CNN, explaining his rationale.

"And in that discussion, in the context of what’s going on around the country in terms of difficult race relations," he continued, "we think that symbols matter here, and we want the symbols in the city to reflect really who New Orleans is historically -- not just a small part of our history."

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