The monuments to be removed are the statue of Jefferson Davis, the statue of Robert E. Lee, the Battle of Liberty Place obelisk, and the statue of P.G.T. Beauregard. (WILX via YouTube screenshots)

New Orleans is severing its ties to the racist Confederate history that lingers in the city by removing several Confederate statues. Early Monday morning, city workers were to begin to take down the statues while it was still dark to avoid clashing with those wanting to preserve the history.

“There’s a better way to use the property these monuments are on and a way that better reflects who we are,” New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu said in an interview Sunday with the Associated Press.

The first statue that was removed was the Liberty Monument, an 1891 obelisk honoring the Crescent City White League, an organization started in 1874 to turn Republicans out of office and intimidate freedmen from voting and political organizing, which Landrieu said was the most offensive and “revere[d] white supremacy.” Other monuments slated for removal over the next several days include those of Gens. Robert E. Lee and P.G.T. Beauregard and Confederate States of America President Jefferson Davis.

Advertisement

Advertisement

There are those who attempted to challenge the removal of the monuments, such as Robert Bonner, 63, a Civil War re-enactor, who said: “When you start removing the history of the city, you start losing money. You start losing where you came from and where you’ve been.” However, Landrieu doesn’t see it that way.

“The monuments are an aberration,” he said. “They’re actually a denial of our history and they were done in a time when people who still controlled the Confederacy were in charge of this city, and it only represents a four-year period in our 1,000-year march to where we are today.”

Read more at the New York Post.