Monument removal is still an issue in New Orleans. Yesterday Councilwoman Latoya Cantrell came out against the removal of the monuments. She thinks the monument removal effort is a shell game to divert New Orleanian’s attention away from the real issues facing the city. I must say that all the years I have lived here the monuments never came up as an issue. I have never looked at them as something that glorified the south’s cause in the civil war even though they were and are meant to be that. I have always looked at them as landmarks and a couple of them as very good pieces of sculpture. I guess my real stance is that if you take them down and replace them will they be replaced by monuments that all New Orleanians can get behind and support. I will say that if not for the Battle of Liberty Place monument I would never have known that the incident took place. A high School history teacher took us to the monument on a field trip and lectured us at the monument site about the battle of Liberty Place and what the city was like during reconstruction. It wasn’t a case of honoring those whose names where on the monument it was an opportunity to teach us a history lesson. I certainly understand the feelings of those who are offended by the statues and look at them as glorifying our shameful past but I also see them as a reminder of where we came from. In the big scheme of things Cantrell is correct. We should be focusing our energy on our immediate needs and issues that are negatively affecting the quality of life in our city.
I attended a town hall meeting last night concerning crime in the downtown Medical Corridor. The usual topics came up lighting, visible police presence the normal things that are brought up at these types of meetings. Officials stated what they are doing to improve the situation. It wasn’t a critical shouting match as to who is dropping the ball on the issue but rather a group of people presenting ideas to help improve the situation. Some of the ideas were quite good. There was however one vibe I picked up on during the discussions and conversations and that is that people are afraid. At some point the city of New Orleans is going to have to address the issue with real solutions instead of the same old ‘We are not going to take any more’ rhetoric. If the crimes are unacceptable to the mayor then he needs to find a way to prove it. Without safe streets all of the progress the city has made since Katrina won’t mean a thing.
I used the term X-Mas just to get under the Christmas purists skin. Haven’t really found that Holiday spirit yet even though I have put up a tree and finished my shopping. I’m not a very religious person but do find the season to be a great opportunity to bond with family and friends and even an excuse to perform acts of kindness. Just hope everyone can lighten up and enjoy the season whether your coffee cup has decorations on it or not, or you say Happy Holidays, Merry Christmas or happy Hanukkah. Don’t let picayune stuff ruin the season for you.