Louisiana House backs ban on removal of Confederate statues

Cameron Gross
May 17, 2017

Gov. John Bel Edwards derided a bill that could protect Confederate monuments, calling the proposal impractical and unnecessarily divisive on Tuesday, a day after black lawmakers stormed off the Louisiana House floor in protest over a Republican's plan.

"What the passage of HB71 really revealed was that there is still present, in Louisiana, a deep rooted belief in white supremacy and a desire to revere those who fought against the United Stated States of America in the American Civil War", Representative Joseph Bouie (D-NO), chair of the black caucus said.

Rarely, have I seen few issues that have generated as much raw heat, tension, and passion than the Confederate monuments controversy.

Carmody's own city of Shreveport has been debating what to do with a Confederate monument in front of the parish's courthouse.

John Bel Edwards says a proposal that would make it more hard to remove Confederate monuments is impractical and unnecessarily divisive.

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House Speaker Taylor Barras, a New Iberia Republican who supported the bill, said he's concerned the issue's divisiveness could affect other heated debates on the budget, taxes and criminal justice overhaul as the session enters its final weeks ahead of the June 8 adjournment.

He also said he wants to protect Southern heritage, according to The Advocate. "Can't we just put this away?" In a statement following the vote, the Louisiana Legislative Black Caucus said the House voted to "usurp local government authority and decision making power". "Who fought for my disenfranchisement?" added Representative Gary Carter. It's the second of four Confederate-era monuments to be removed from city landmarks. The Liberty Monument was removed April 24 and the statue of Jefferson Davis was taken down May 11.

Payne says his calls and attempts to reach out to New Orleans city officials have not yet been returned.

Both statues were taken down in the early hours of the morning to avoid disruption and workers wore bullet-proof vests with police watching on in case protesters got out of hand. "I think members need to continue to communicate and not retreat to our corners".

Rebel flag-wielding pro-monument supporters and "Southern nationalists" from the League of the South clashed with anti-monument protesters on May 7 during dueling New Orleans demonstrations celebrating and denouncing the removal of Lee's statue from Lee Circle.

Other reports by BadHub

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