New Orleans has removed its monuments to the 19th century criminals whose crowning achievement was killing their non-criminal countrymen, in support of their Treason in Defense of Slavery (TiDoS). In the face of horrible threats from the spiritual heirs of those racist thugs, Mitch Landrieu’s speech on the occasion was a model of eloquence and grace.
It’s way past time for another city to step up and take the traitors down. Richmond, VA has a boulevard called Monument Avenue. A finer microcosm of pride in treason and racism, of pretending that TiDoS was something good and noble, you cannot find anywhere.
Richmond is where I graduated from high school. As a white high school student in a school that was named after another apologist for TiDoS, I actually thought, in 1974, that these monuments were beautiful, wonderful things.
At the time, idiot teenager that I was, I did not think about the fact that the city glorified these criminals who literally fought and killed for the right to own 80% of its own citizens as property. To deny their humanity or any of their rights as humans.
In 1996 they put up a much smaller statue of Arthur Ashe, farther out, not on horseback of course. Because a black man in their eyes, if he rides a horse, he clearly does not know his place.
I no longer live in Richmond, and I now understand how corrosive were the attitudes I drank in its tap water back then. I no longer have any real influence there, but I add my voice, for what it’s worth, to the chorus asking Richmond to TAKE THEM DOWN. I hold little hope for Richmond. I plan never to return there. But it would be the removal of a vast stain on our national landscape if these could be removed to the same scrapyard as New Orleans’ were.