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Former New Orleans Mayor Visits Virginia, Talks Confederate Monuments

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Gerald Herbert
/
AP

 

 

Former New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu was in Richmond Tuesday.He spoke with the city’s mayor and shared some of the things he learned in his quest to remove the Confederate monuments in hiscity.

 

More human beings were sold into slavery in New Orleans than any other city in America. Second place in that perverse contest? Richmond, Virginia. Mitch Landrieu says Confederate monuments are a reminder of not only that history, but the history of a war fought to protect slavery and a legacy of segregation and Jim Crow.

“The simple truth is the Confederacy was on the wrong side of history. It was fought to destroy the United States of America, not to unite it. And it was fought for the cause of preserving slavery,” Landrieu said to reporters after the event.

The former Mayor of New Orleans led a years-long battle to remove the monuments in and was finally successful. Now they’re sitting in storage.

“What you want to do is put the Confederacy in its proper place,” he said. “You want to remember it, because you don’t ever want to repeat it. But you don’t want to revere it. Because that’s not something that we aspire to be.”

Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney has said he wants the monuments in Virginia’s capitol city to come down, but state law needs to change first.

He called on City Council to pass a resolution urging state lawmakers to revisit the law.  

“And it takes the courage of the community to say ‘You know what, that’s not who we are.’ The comma after Richmond Virginia, should it still remain as the former capital of the confederacy? Or do we get the chance to design the future that we want to be?” said Stoney.

Landrieu is speaking throughout the south as part of a race equity initiative called E Pluribus Unum. He is speaking at the University of Virginia Wednesday.

 
This report, provided by Virginia Public Radio, was made possible with support from the Virginia Education Association.

Mallory Noe-Payne is Radio IQ's Richmond reporter and bureau chief.