In a sweeping 6-1 vote this week the New Orleans City Council voted to remove four monuments that were erected after reconstruction and in a time of the flourishing Jim Crow era.
The most prominent of those statues is the one of General Robert E. Lee, Civil War General, and Confederate darling, which stands at a prominent New Orleans circle bearing the same name. Among other statues to be removed are those of Gen. P.G.T. Beauregard at the entrance of New Orleans City Park, and Confederate president Jefferson Davis. One monument, erected in 1874 to commemorate the uprising against reconstruction, the obelisk dedicated to the Battle of Liberty Place, has also been slated to be removed.Â
There has been heated debate on both sides of the argument since the summer of 2015 when New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu originally announce a plan, under the local nuisance ordinance, to have them removed. Over the last 6 months, people from all over the country have weighed in on the subject via social media, written commentaries, and even attending local area meetings. Now, all those sparring matches have come to an end.
#TakeEmDownNOLA #MyMoneyMyMonumentsWhy do YOU want New Orleans' Confederate monuments removed?
Latoya Lewis, local community organizer for the New Orleans Workersâ€™ Center for Racial Justice, stated, â€œThese monuments are of people that reigned down over not just New Orleans but also the South and kept people enslaved.â€ Multiple groups including Latoyaâ€™s, joined by, Stand with Dignity, and Take â€˜Em Down Nola, have partnered in advocating for the removal.
Proponents havenâ€™t been the only side advocating in this debate, opponents have also offered up their criticism of what they are dubbing as the removal of history. Â A project called Save Our Circle was formed on the day that Landrieu announced his intent. According to their website, â€œWe believe that not only is this action by the mayor an attempt to ‘hide’ history from plain site, but a divisive move that will and has already divided the entire community. But most importantly, the mayorâ€™s focus should be on more pressing issues affecting the city.â€
Let New Orleans City Council know that these white supremacist monuments must go! Sign our petition via the link in our bio if you haven't already #takeemdownnola
This week the mayor addressed the city council and stated, â€œThe Confederacy, you see, was on the wrong side of history and humanity.â€
No matter where you fall in the debate, this is a matter that has brought feelings to the surface on both sides. Unfortunately, my news feed has been full of many disingenuous posts from the LGBT community. One would think that with all the battles that our community has had, and continue to have, that some people would be more sympathetic to an entire group of people who still feel ostracized in this country.
Will the removal of these monuments, fix our problems in this country with race relations? Absolutely not. But as a community, we must stand by other groups who are still being singled out by a majority of people based on the color of their skin and not the content of their character. Â
#TakeEmDownNOLA #MyMoneyMyMonuments #BlackLivesMatterWhat's the message these monuments send to Black New Orleanians?
Iâ€™m reminded of a post I made back in June, that read,
We cannot as a commUNITY – continuously fight and push for LGBTQ equality without pushing for and speaking up for rights of all Americans. We cannot be silent, we MUST speak up for the continued rights of women, for the inequalities in race relations, and continued hate crimes, to only name a few. To remain silent is to turn a blind eye on your brothers and sisters that are struggling as you have.
All rights go hand in hand and it starts with us. Only then can we truly have equality across this nation. Let us come together and push for the righting of all inequalities and make this a better place for everyone. We should settle for nothing less. Today as we mourn the loss of those in Charleston, let us not only pray for justice and peace, but for understanding and guidance.
But not everyone in our community agreed with the city council and the vote. Some took to Facebook to voice their opinion, â€œThis a bunch of bullshit! What are we gonna call Lee Circle now? #â€Žhistoryisimportant #â€Žwhitestatuesmatter.â€
Other members of the local LGBT community joined in and took to Facebook to voice their disapproval as well. Another local business owner and community member wrote on his timeline,
â€œThe city council voted to remove the statues today erasing my families [sic] history from the city. My family came here 300 years ago and now we have been erased. I am calling for any buildings built by slave labor to be torn down and replaced with stucco condo’s. Also, the white house will need to go, as it is a monument to the slaves that built it. One thing I loved about New Orleans is our history, but now we will just become another Houston or Dallas. Start building the condos!! Or we could just erect a monument to the young gang members that are killing everyone on a daily basis.â€
There were some more positive ones on the other side. Anita Daniel, wrote,
â€œI’m seeing a lot of posts on my newsfeed in reference to the City Council decision to remove the Confederate statues. If these statues represented the oppression of women, or the oppression of the LGBT community, or the oppression of a certain religion, there would be no discussion…if fact, we would have never allowed them to be erected in the first place. The removal of them will not erase history or rewrite the text books. The removal of them will not solve the horrible civil rights problems that African Americans are still facing, today. But, I would argue that their removal will send a needed message, that we as a Nation have failed one another, many times, in many ways, but we learn. We learn from our weakest points in history, in order to create our strongest future. No one is free until we are all free. And, lastly, just because a symbol holds no power over you, does not mean that it holds no power at all. #â€ŽBlackLivesMatter.â€
Another pointedÂ out in their post, â€œIf you need a statue to remind you not to enslave people or to tell you not to try to rip our country apartâ€¦ You need to stop talking to statues.â€
#TakeEmDownNOLA #MyMoneyMyMonumentsThere's no sitting on the sidelines of institutionalized racism.
Some were looking to cut the celebration in city government short. Just hours after the signing of the controversial ordinance was signed by Mayor Landrieu, a group of preservationists filed a lawsuit in federal court seeking to stop monument removal. The group of preservationists made up of the Monumental Task Committee, the Louisiana Landmarks Society, Foundation for Historical Louisiana, and Beauregard Camp No. 130; argue that removing the monuments violate the constitution, stating it maintains â€œthe right for people to preserve foster and promote their respective historic linguistic and cultural origins.â€Â
Legal experts weighed in right away, â€œThe research has been done. He (Landrieu) knows what he needs to do legally,â€ Foret said. â€œThe only question is are the preservationists going to be able to file a lawsuit â€¦ and get any relief? My legal opinion is I think not.â€
This week showed us in many ways how much further we have to go, and how much more work has to be done not only in our city, and our community, but across the country. We must work to put our differences aside and stand together, so that our division across communities can heal and help to mend those hearts who oppose us.Â
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‘I’m Broke’: One Day Before Shutdown and With No Plan McCarthy Says He Has ‘Nothing’ in His ‘Back Pocket’
Just 30 hours before his own Republican conference likely will have succeeded in shutting down the federal government of the United States, Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy candidly admitted to reporters he’s run out of ideas.
Earlier Friday in an “embarrassing failure,” 21 House Republicans killed legislation from their own party, a short-term continuing resolution, that would have kept the federal government open.
Later on Friday afternoon, swarmed by reporters, McCarthy was asked if he was going to tell them what his plans are. He sarcastically replied, “No, I’m going to keep it all a secret.”
When pressed, he said he would “keep working, and make sure we solve this problem.”
“What’s in your back pocket, Speaker?” another reporter asked, pressing him for an answer.
“Nothing right now. I’m broke,” he admitted, apparently referring to options and ideas to avoid a shutdown.
But another reporter asked Speaker McCarthy the main question: Would he partner with House Democratic Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries to put the Senate’s bill before the House.
He refused to answer.
After Speaker Kevin McCarthy’s (R-CA) failed House vote to keep the federal government open…
Reporter: “What’s in your back pocket, Speaker?”
McCarthy: “Nothing right now. I’m broke.” pic.twitter.com/pB2SWhOSVr
— The Recount (@therecount) September 29, 2023
Just before 5 PM CNN’s Manu Raju reported on the ongoing House Republicans’ closed-door meeting with the Speaker, a meeting where the 21 Republicans who will likely be effectively responsible for the shutdown reportedly did not attend.
“McCarthy is telling [Republicans] now there aren’t many options to avoid a shutdown, according to sources in room. He says they can approve GOP’s stop-gap plan that failed, accept Senate plan, put a ‘clean’ stop-gap on floor to dare Democrats to block it — or shut down the government.”
He adds, U.S. Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) largely responsible for the impending likely shutdown and the impending possible ouster of McCarthy said: “We will not pass a continuing resolution on terms that continue America’s decline.”
At midnight Saturday Republicans will likely have succeeded in furloughing 3.5 million million federal workers – two million of them service members in the U.S. Armed Forces – and countless contractors, while financially harming untold thousands of businesses that rely on income from all those workers to keep running – unless Speaker McCarthy puts a bipartisan continuing resolution approved by at least 75 U.S. Senators on the floor, legislation every House Democrat is likely to vote for.
Should he do so, many believe he will have also signed his own pink slip.
But whether or not the government shuts down, and whether or not McCarthy puts the Senate’s CR on the floor, according to The Washington Post the far right extremists in his party are already moving to oust him “as early as next week.”
The Biden campaign is making certain Americans realize the blame for the impending shutdown sits at McCarthy’s feet.
Here is Kevin McCarthy a few months ago praising the deal he made with President Biden to avert a government shutdown, which he is now reneging on pic.twitter.com/B4rVNzNXkZ
— Biden-Harris HQ (@BidenHQ) September 29, 2023
At 6:23 PM Friday evening, Punchbowl News’ Jake Sherman wrote on social media: “HOUSE REPUBLICANS HAVE NO PLAN TO KEEP GOVERNMENT OPEN.”
Watch the videos above or at this link.
‘Bad News’ for Sidney Powell as First Trump Co-Defendant in Georgia RICO Case Takes Plea Deal: Legal Expert
“Under the terms of an agreement with Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis’s office, Hall pleaded guilty to two counts of conspiracy to commit election fraud, conspiracy to commit computer theft, conspiracy to commit computer trespass, conspiracy to commit computer invasion of privacy, and conspiracy to defraud the state,” NBC News reports. “Under the terms of the deal, he’s being sentenced to five years probation.”
CNN previously reported “Hall, a bail bondsman and pro-Trump poll-watcher in Atlanta, spent hours inside a restricted area of the Coffee County elections office when voting systems were breached in January 2021. The breach was connected to efforts by pro-Trump conspiracy theorists to find voter fraud. Hall was captured on surveillance video at the office, on the day of the breach. He testified before the grand jury in Fulton County case and acknowledged that he gained access to a voting machine.”
Former U.S. Attorney Joyce Vance, a professor of law and frequent MSNBC contributor, says Hall “was in the thick of things with Sidney Powell on Jan 7 for the Coffee County scheme involving voting machines. If he’s cooperating, it’s a bad sign for her.”
Hall’s plea deal “spells bad news for, among others, Sidney Powell,” says former Dept. of Defense Special Counsel Ryan Goodman, an NYU Law professor of law. Goodman posted a graphic showing the overlap in charges against Hall and Powell, which he called “alleged joint actions.”
With breakthrough for Georgia DA (@TamarHallerman reporting: “SCOTT HALL has become the first co-defendant in the Fulton election interference case to take a plea deal with prosecutors.”)
That spells bad news for, among others, Sidney Powell.
Example of alleged joint actions.👇 pic.twitter.com/odMM5C7JtX
— Ryan Goodman (@rgoodlaw) September 29, 2023
See the graphic above or at this link.
Far-Right Republicans Kill GOP Bill to Keep Government Running in ‘Embarrassing Failure’ for McCarthy: Report
With a shutdown less than 36 hours away, far-right Republicans in the House of Representatives Friday afternoon voted against their party’s own legislation to kept the federal government running. Democrats opposed the content of the bill and voted against it. Just 21 far-right members of the GOP conference were able to effectively force what appears to be an all but inevitable shutdown at midnight on Saturday.
“HARDLINE HOUSE RS take down stopgap funding bill. 21 GOP no votes. 232-198,” reported Punchbowl News’ Jake Sherman just before 2 PM Friday.
NBC News reported that a “band of conservative rebels on Friday revolted and blocked House Republicans’ short-term funding bill to keep the government open, delivering a political blow to Speaker Kevin McCarthy and likely cementing the chances of a painful government shutdown that is less than 48 hours away.”
“Twenty-one rebels, led by Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., a conservative bomb-thrower and a top Donald Trump ally, voted Friday afternoon to scuttle the 30-day funding bill, known as a continuing resolution or CR, leaving Republicans without a game plan to avert a shutdown. The vote failed,” NBC added. “The embarrassing failure of the GOP measure once again highlights the dilemma for McCarthy as his hard-liners strongly oppose a short-term bill even if it includes conservative priorities. It leaves Congress on a path to a shutdown, with no apparent offramp to avoiding it — or to quickly reopen the government.”
A bipartisan group of at least 75 U.S. Senators has passed two bills this week that would keep the government running. Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy has refused to allow it to come to the floor for a vote.
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