Mayor Mitch Landrieu mounted a passionate defense of his approach to removing the city’s monument to the Battle of Liberty Place during an interview Thursday, insisting that credible threats of violence ruled out holding any kind of ceremony or doing it in the daytime.The problem, and this is the problem with all political big wigs, is Mitch is starting to act as though he has ownership over the issue just because he happened to be the mayor when it came to a head. I hope he doesn't go too far with that, though because his idea for what to do with Le Circle in the future is terrible.
He also offered an idea of his own vision for the sites.For the record, I called that two years ago. The dude is pretty predictable.
He said the circle around the Lee column could be turned into a fountain with statues representing various aspects of New Orleans’ people and culture and renamed Tricentennial Circle in honor of the city’s 300th birthday next year.
If we are going to do this, though, it's important that we, unlike the Saints fans in the picture above, take it seriously. Mitch already makes me nervous when he throws his Tricentennial fetish in there. If we take Lee down and replace him with some sort of generic piece of modern art and christen some boring "Tricentennial Circle" that will almost make the thing not worth doing.We have to come up with something better than this. Otherwise, Mitch is going to ruin the whole exercise.
It's not enough to just take down the Confederate monument and sanitize the space with post-modern nonsense. We need to imbue it with an appropriate positive historical and cultural significance in equal measure to the negative image we are supplanting. My first thought is to name it for Homer Plessy, though maybe you guys can come up with someone as deserving.
Just don't leave it up to Mitch Landrieu and his band of bland "New New Orleanians." They'll either do something inappropriately benign or name it for some pastor they're all indebted to politically.