By Rodin Batcheller
On April 24, the Liberty Place Monument, a well-known monument in New Orleans, was finally taken down. It celebrated the Confederate soldiers of the Civil War, and has the words “white supremacy” etched into its base.
The rest of the southern states should take note of New Orlean’s decision, and consider removing the other over 700 Confederate monuments throughout the South, because they represent ideals of racism and division that should not be encouraged in this nation.
Due to violent threats from white supremacists defending the monuments, Liberty Place had to be taken down at night with fences surrounding the workers. Armed officers and snipers stood guard during the process.
Along with the Liberty Place Monument, three statues of Confederate generals Robert E. Lee and P.G.T. Beauregard and Confederate president, Jefferson Davis, will also be taken down within the next month.
Although these three statues are not indicative of racism, the New Orleans Mayor, Mitch Landrieu, believes that they all represent the same principles that the United States should no longer support.
Landrieu stated to the Associated Press, “We will no longer allow the Confederacy to literally be put on a pedestal in the heart of our city.”
His clear stance on the fate of Confederate monuments should be adopted by leaders in the rest of the Southern states.
According to studies conducted by YouGov, an Internet-based market research firm, 58 percent of Southern citizens disapprove of displaying the Confederate flag in public places, and about the same percentage of Americans across the nation agree.
The opposition of Southerners themselves against a symbol of the Confederacy proves that there is little reason to maintain monuments and other objects that honor the previously secessionist states.
Those who protested against the removal of Liberty Place argued that the monuments and statues throughout the South represent their heritage and pride. Some even brought loaded arms with them to protect monument sites.
Despite the possibility of violence, state governments must act to reflect the opinions of their citizens, who disapprove of Confederate symbols in their states. One could argue that these landmarks represent American history, but the fact is that such monuments represent a dark period in the nation’s history marred by inequality and ignorance.
It is necessary that Americancitizens keep fighting against racial discrimination. Even 152 years after the end of the Civil War, the battle for racial equal ity holds the same significance to this nation. Removing all objects that support ideas of white supremacy and racism should be taken down immediately to uphold American values of equality and unity.