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New Orleans City Council Votes To Remove Racist Confederacy Statues, Some On Facebook Outraged

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#‎whitestatuesmatter. Really?

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. 

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?

Posted by Take 'Em Down NOLA on Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Latoya Lewis, local community organizer for the New Orleans Workers’ Center for Racial Justice, stated, “These monuments are of people that reigned down over not just New Orleans but also the South and kept people enslaved.” Multiple groups including Latoya’s, joined by, Stand with Dignity, and Take ‘Em Down Nola, have partnered in advocating for the removal.

Proponents haven’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.  A project called Save Our Circle was formed on the day that Landrieu announced his intent. According to their website, “We 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 mayor’s focus should be on more pressing issues affecting the city.”

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

Posted by Take 'Em Down NOLA on Tuesday, December 8, 2015

This week the mayor addressed the city council and stated, “The Confederacy, you see, was on the wrong side of history and humanity.”

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.  

#TakeEmDownNOLA #MyMoneyMyMonuments #BlackLivesMatterWhat's the message these monuments send to Black New Orleanians?

Posted by Take 'Em Down NOLA on Friday, September 11, 2015

I’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, “This a bunch of bullshit! What are we gonna call Lee Circle now? #‎historyisimportant #‎whitestatuesmatter.”

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,

“The 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.”

#takeemdownnola

Posted by Take 'Em Down NOLA on Wednesday, December 9, 2015

There were some more positive ones on the other side. Anita Daniel, wrote,

“I’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. #‎BlackLivesMatter.”

Another pointed out in their post, “If you need a statue to remind you not to enslave people or to tell you not to try to rip our country apart… You need to stop talking to statues.”

#TakeEmDownNOLA #MyMoneyMyMonumentsThere's no sitting on the sidelines of institutionalized racism.

Posted by Take 'Em Down NOLA on Sunday, September 13, 2015

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 “the right for people to preserve foster and promote their respective historic linguistic and cultural origins.” 

Legal experts weighed in right away, “The research has been done. He (Landrieu) knows what he needs to do legally,” Foret said. “The only question is are the preservationists going to be able to file a lawsuit … and get any relief? My legal opinion is I think not.”

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. 

 

Image, top, by kda0312 via Instagram
Embedded images via Take ‘Em Down NOLA/Facebook

 

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News

Watch: ‘Alleged Quack’ and New Jersey Resident Dr. Oz Announces ‘America First’ Run for US Senate for Pennsylvania

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Dr. Mehmet Oz, the hydroxychloroquine-pushing TV doctor widely known for promoting pseudoscience and fake treatments has decided to use his expertise to run for the U.S. Senate as a Republican, and if not fully-embrace Donald Trump, certainly align himself with the disgraced former president.

In an op-ed exclusive to the right wing national website the Washington Examiner and in just-released video (below), Oz announces his run, citing the nation’s response to COVID and its ramifications as a primary factor for entering politics. It’s unclear why he did not announce via a Pennsylvania publication.

“We are angry at our government and at each other,” his op-ed begins. “We have not managed our crises as effectively as past generations. During the pandemic, I learned that when you mix politics and medicine, you get politics instead of solutions. That’s why I am running for the U.S. Senate: to help fix the problems and to help us heal.”

Like more and more Republicans entering the political landscape, Oz has precisely zero experience in government, but that once-presumed prerequisite is no longer in vogue.

“Oz — a longtime New Jersey resident — would enter a Republican field that is resetting with an influx of candidates and a new opportunity to appeal to voters loyal to former President Donald Trump, now that the candidate endorsed by Trump has just exited the race,” The Associated Press reports. “Oz may have to explain why he isn’t running for office in New Jersey, where he has lived for the past two decades before he began voting in Pennsylvania’s elections this year by absentee ballot, registered to his in-laws’ address in suburban Philadelphia.”

The “celebrity heart surgeon,” the AP adds, “has been dogged by accusations that he is a charlatan selling “quack treatments and cures in the interest of personal financial gain,” a group of doctors wrote in 2015 in a letter calling for his firing from Columbia University’s medical school. He wasn’t fired.”

The Daily Beast at the start of the coronavirus pandemic last year labeled Oz and “alleged quack” and asked why he was chosen as the face of NBC’s “Coronavirus Crisis Team.”

That’s far from the only attack on Oz’s credibility as a medical professional.

“Oz began making regular appearances on Fox News after the start of the pandemic, and in the spring of 2020 came under fire for comments suggesting that reopening schools might be worth the extra deaths, because it ‘may only cost us 2% to 3% in terms of total mortality,'” the AP notes. “Researchers from the University of Alberta found in 2014 that, of 80 randomly selected recommendations from Oz’s shows, often dietary advice, roughly half was unsupported by evidence, or contradicted by it.”

Watch Oz’s statement released minutes ago, which includes Trump rhetoric like “America first.”

 

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RIGHT WING EXTREMISM

Third Video Exposes Lauren Boebert Again Falsely Suggesting Ilhan Omar Is a Terrorist

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U.S. Rep. Lauren Boebert in yet another video has been captured falsely suggesting Congresswoman Ilhan Omar (D-MN) is a terrorist. It is the third video to date – including one she released Monday – in which the Republican pro-gun activist from Colorado disparages Omar as a terrorist or terrorist sympathizer.

“Republican Rep. Lauren Boebert of Colorado suggested to a crowd in September that Democratic Rep. Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, whom she called ‘black-hearted’ and ‘evil,’ was a terrorist,” CNN’s Andrew Kaczynski reports. “It’s another instance in which Boebert suggested Omar, who is Muslim and wears a hijab, was a terrorist.”

This newly-found video, CNN explains, was “made in New York at a September Staten Island Conservative Party dinner,” and “posted on Facebook that month by an attendee running for borough president.”

Like the first video, Boebert delivers her attack on her Democratic colleague as if she were in a nightclub doing standup, mocking Omar for her religion.

“One of my staffers, on his first day with me, got into an elevator, in the Capitol. And in that elevator, we were joined by Ilhan Omar,” Boebert tells a seated crowd, at least one of whom can be heard saying, “Oh God” as she mentioned the Democratic Congresswoman’s name. Other attendees laugh. Behind her a woman can be seen laughing, as if she has heard the story before.

Related –
Watch: Lauren Boebert Accuses Ilhan Omar of ‘Cancel Culture 101’ and Again Falsely Suggests She’s a Terrorist

“It was just us three in there and I looked over and I said, ‘well, lookey there, it’s the Jihad Squad.'”

“She doesn’t have a backpack, she wasn’t dropping it and running so we’re good.”

In a different version Boebert changed the details, claiming a Capitol Police officer rushed to the elevator out of concern for Boebert being on an elevator with Omar, presumably because of her attire and religion.

And yet, in video she released Monday, Boebert, calling herself a “strong Christian woman,” says she would “never want anything I say to offend someone’s religion.”

During Monday’s video Boebert told supporters, “Make no mistake, I will continue to fearlessly put America first, never sympathizing with terrorists. Unfortunately, Ilhan can’t say the same thing.”

 

 

 

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RIGHT WING EXTREMISM

‘Textbook MAGA Projection’: McEnany Mocked for False Claim ‘No One Has Politicized’ Coronavirus More Than Biden

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Former Trump White House and campaign spokesperson Kayleigh McEnany is being mocked after ignoring how her former boss politicized the coronavirus pandemic from the very start, and falsely claiming President Joe Biden has been politicizing COVID — even more than his predecessor.

“At the end of the day, no one has politicized this virus more than President Joe Biden,” McEnany, now a Fox News contributor, falsely claimed. “You have the mask wearing incident there. You have Kamala saying on the campaign trail, ‘If Donald Trump tells me to take the vaccine, I won’t take it.’ You had Biden mimicking that rhetoric, then they get into office. ‘Yay, take the vaccine.’ That should have been the message back on the campaign trail, as well on travel restrictions. ‘You know, Trump’s xenophobic for this,’ and now all of a sudden travel restrictions work. Are you sensing a pattern here? Because you should, it is politicization of this virus on the campaign trail. They dismissed the policies, they issued the policies they are now putting in place, they were always effective. And where’s the consistency rather than outright politicization?”

She was roundly mocked, even by noted political scientist Norm Orenstein:

And many others:

 

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