Monumental Decision-Making

In the midst of heated protests in New Orleans surrounding the removal of Confederate monuments, a committee in the Louisiana Legislature has voted to present a bill that would bar localities from removing Confederate monuments without the approval of voters. The bill’s purview extends to all military-related monuments.

Those in favor of the recently removed Confederate monuments in New Orleans considered the monuments a “nuisance” — statues that parade a symbol of slavery and a painful reminder of the Civil War. Not surprisingly, New Orleans Deputy Mayor Ryan Berni testified against the bill. He highlighted that the courts have affirmed the city’s ownership of the monuments and said the city should have control over what to do with its property.

The bill presents an intriguing issue of the ultimate control of such monuments. To avoid future accountability, the City of New Orleans may want to support putting the decision to remove such monuments directly in the hands of the voters.

Philip D. Lorio, IV