I’m not from New Orleans and I don’t have any sort of nostalgia for the place, but I love culture, food, and history.
When I moved to the area, I was impressed with the city on all of those fronts, and the weight I lost in the hot and humid summer was compensated for in delicious gumbo and bread pudding.
But the honeymoon phase of the city wore off pretty quickly. Like many old urban places, there are problems, and the bureaucracy voted in to fix those problems has only made it worse.
There is horrifying violence throughout the city, from gang violence to sickening drive-bys of cyclists in broad daylight. Crime in general is up whereas the rest of the civilized world is seeing declines.
The people charged with preventing this crime are so incompetent, or corrupt, that even despite unconstitutional red-light traffic ticket income, the police force is unable (or unwilling) to stop real crime.
Perhaps NOPD is too busy writing parking tickets for being inches outside of their barely visible parking lines to solve actual crimes; but whatever the case, they’re so inept that private security forces have stepped up to do their job.
Despite all the issues with crime in New Orleans, I’ve only been “mugged” by glorified meter maids and let me tell you, it doesn’t feel any better when you can pay your mugger with credit card.
I’ve been told that the city had bounced back after Katrina, but it certainly looks like it’s regressing now. Despite all the problems and travails that face the city, the number one issue on the minds of the mayor and many others are those inanimate objects dedicated to dusty war heroes.
From an outsider’s perspective, that’s certainly not the thing I would be focusing on in a city where someone is murdered every 48 hours.
As a “Yankee,” I have no historic tie to the Confederacy, and, as someone who loves logic, I’m vehemently opposed to racism. As a libertarian, I despise the idea of slavery, but I also love the idea of secession.
I endorsed getting rid of statues to people (or causes) that promote white supremacy or slavery and there was no love lost over the removal of the Liberty Place and the Jefferson Davis monuments. But, the other two monuments were dedicated to upstanding men.
Landrieu’s demolition of specifically the Beauregard monument shows his hand.
Beauregard was a great man who rejected slavery and was arguably one of Louisiana’s first civil rights leaders; fighting for blacks’ voting and civil rights. So, clearly, this wasn’t about celebrating diversity, inclusiveness, and tolerance, it was about scrubbing the city of enemies of the state.
Like a good little cultural Marxist, Landrieu was sending a message of who’s in charge and (despite his message of inclusiveness) who is unwelcome in the city.
He’s making the city a big safe space for historically illiterate snowflakes but utterly unappealing for people who love good things. With each monument he takes down, he makes New Orleans a little less unique — a little less important, all the while redirecting funds away from actual problems.
The only reason New Orleans hasn’t completely self-destructed into a bureaucracy-induced civic coma is because tourism keeps it afloat—tourism that seeks culture, food, and history.
Mitch Landrieu is doing his part to rid New Orleans of at least one of those and people are already “John Galting” the city because of it.
Fortunately for them, they can find great food and culture in other places and they don’t have to risk their lives and waste money on frivolous parking tickets to enjoy it.
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