New Orleans has been busy removing memorials to the confederacy after the city council declared the statues a “public nuisance.”
Tearing down vestiges of white supremacy shouldn’t be controversial. The four statues torn down – the last of which depicted General Robert E. Lee – celebrated a history of racial violence, lawlessness, and treason.
As New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu explains it, the statues and the individuals they represent do not belong in public spaces because they simply do not reflect the diverse US public that these areas are designed for:
They are not just innocent remembrances of a benign history. These monuments celebrate a fictional, sanitized Confederacy ignoring the death, ignoring the enslavement, ignoring the terror that it actually stood for. They may have been warriors, but in this cause they were not patriots
The removal of the statues has been met with protests and counter-protests, with confederate flag-wielders and torch-bearing Klansmen joining the fray.
State Representative Karl Oliver – a conservative Louisiana Republican – has offered the world his two cents over the removals, though he may have wanted to keep his thoughts to himself:
Supporters of the removals should be “LYNCHED” Oliver writes. Fellow state Republicans have been reluctant to speak out against these horrific remarks, which harken back to one of the very reasons why the statues have come down – they represent a bygone political order that aided and abetted countless lynchings of black Americans.
The post has since been deleted but – as with all blunders online – remains preserved.
— Yashar (@yashar) May 22, 2017
That’s today’s GOP for you, not really bothering to hide the extremism at the heart of their dated political vision.