NEW ORLEANS — Backlash against a plan to remove prominent Confederate monuments in New Orleans has been tinged by death threats, intimidation and even what may have been the torching of a contractor’s Lamborghini.
For now, at least, things have gotten so nasty the city hasn’t found a contractor willing to bear the risk of tearing down the monuments. The city doesn’t have its own equipment to move them and is now in talks to find a company, even discussing doing the work at night to avoid further tumult.
Initially, it appeared the monuments would be removed quickly after the majority black City Council on Dec. 17 voted 6-1 to approve the mayor’s plan to take them down. The monuments, including towering figures of Gens. Robert E. Lee and P.G.T. Beauregard, have long been viewed by many here as symbols of racism and white supremacy.
The backlash is not surprising to Bill Quigley, a Loyola University law professor and longtime civil rights activist in New Orleans who’s worked on behalf of a group demanding the monuments come down.
Click here to read more about New Orleans battle over the removal of Confederate symbols in the majority African-American city.