Don: Will Mayor Mitch Landrieu be remembered as a dictator?

Don Dubuc
May 19, 2017 - 4:17 pm

The eyes of the country have been on New Orleans lately with the controversy over the Confederate monuments moving from debate to action.  Mayor Mitch Landrieu has been the primary driver behind the effort to remove four monuments – of Jefferson Davis, Robert E. Lee, P.G.T. Beauregard, and the Battle of Liberty Place.  

Former Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice, a person I respect a great, great deal, recently spoke about this subject; and I think we all would be wise to consider her comments.

"When you start wiping out your history, sanitizing your history, to make you feel better, it’s a bad thing," she said.  "I’m a firm believer in keeping your history before you. And so, I don’t actually want to rename things that were named for slave owners."

Mayor Landrieu owns this, though; it is his responsibility.  It will determine his legacy.  Will he be remembered as a dictator, as many have called him; or will he be remembered as an honorable mayor?  I talked to Frank Stewart, whose two page letter to the Mayor many of you probably read, to get his take.

“You mentioned the word dictator, as I have, because unfortunately, in the democratic process, a mayor has a responsibility of doing what the majority of our public wants to have done.  And unfortunately, he has not gone along with allowing an election to be had.”

That has been a big area of contention.  A large number of people wish that he had put this up to a vote of the people instead of pushing for it himself.  Stewart framed how he says this whole controversy and the monuments.
“This is not a racist issue.  This is a situation of the past where we have had a very positive evolution, not a negative evolution. We have grown together as a country, the greatest free country in the world.”
Stewart also criticized how the Mayor is making New Orleans look.

“What Mitch is doing right now is crucifying our reputation as a wonderufl tourist city, as a place where everyone wants to come.  I can't understand how our leader can go on record and portray us as a racist community.”
This one issue will play a huge part in shaping Mitch Landrieu’s legacy.  How do you think history will look back on him?


Listen to my whole conversation with Frank Stewart below.

Will Mitch Landrieu be remembered as a "Dictator" or will there be a statue erected honoring him for removing controversial historic monuments?

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