Age ago, 1984 to be exact, New Orleans hosted the World's Fair. In speaking with a close friend of mine (who owned a mechanic shop in the city), he pointed out to me how the city acquired the land for the fair in an intelligent manner. In its infinite wisdom, the city government threw out businesses that had been on those locations for generations. But the City Council was certain the World's Fair would raise new businesses that would more than replace them.
And no new businesses came. And the businesses moved to the suburbs. And the land is still empty.
As I've watched the city I've called home for ages go into another cycle of madness, I wonder if it will ever recover. I remember, what I thought were simply crazed, groups of idiots, demand that local schools named for "slave holders" (e.g. George Washington) be renamed. I never believed this would be taken serious. The school board has real issues and they need to focus on them.
I was wrong.
Now we have Take Em Down NOLA, a group of local race baiting poverty pimps convinced in a city with a crumbling infrastructure, schools that are a complete disaster, a dwindling tax base, an inability to recruit business, murders skyrocketing, what is it the city must focus on...removing Confederate statues. But not only that, but dozens of streets, Tulane University and Toruo Infirmary.
Seeing the latest outrage of the Landrieu family, their boy Mitch destroying a lot of the history of the city, I found this article in the Hayride interesting. I think the City of New Orleans needs a come to Jesus event.
“We Don’t Live There Anymore” Is The Problem In New Orleans
As I’ve watched this rolling debacle with the historical monuments unfold in New Orleans over the past two years, culminating in the unmitigated disgrace that was last night’s takedown of the P.G.T. Beauregard statue – which as Johann Batiste rightly observed this morning amounted to the bowdlerization of a monument to one of the city’s earliest civil rights leaders – something has nagged me from the recesses of my brain.
I’m coming about this controversy from the perspective of a lover of history. I majored in it in college, my bookshelves are covered in history books, I had the History Channel as a default on TV until the geniuses running the place decided to remove history from its programming, I try to take in some of the local history whenever I travel somewhere – to me, history is sacred. History is the record of civilization; it’s something truly common to us all and it doesn’t discriminate.
The story of, for example, Beauregard is a story for all of us. Here was a man of many parts, a product of his time, yes, but a man before his time as well. He was a soldier, an engineer, an entrepreneur, a reformer, a politician, a father, a husband and even a patriot – both for the Confederacy, when events pushed him into it, and for the United States before and after that time. If you’re white, these things in his life can be a source of pride in your heritage – but that cultural and historical patrimony isn’t limited to white people.
P.G.T. Beauregard spent his post-Civil War life working to better race relations and provide access to the American dream for all the people of Louisiana. He repudiated slavery (he never owned slaves) and discrimination. That he fought for the South may have been a negative on his curriculum vitae for some; we all have our crosses to bear. In his time, both black and white in Louisiana saw him as a hero, and for the right reasons.
But this is not a time when we celebrate our history, and we certainly have no appreciation for our heritage. The cultural Marxists and social justice warriors among us, the vast majority of whom have shown themselves to be a collection of frauds and imbeciles unfit to lead so much as silent prayer, have so poisoned the well that American history now bears the taint of “white supremacism,” and it is impossible to judge our ancestors by the standards of their time rather than our own.
Which as an aside, is so completely wrongheaded as to disqualify those who insist on it from any real conversation on the subject. He who sits in an air-conditioned room posting to the internet from a smart phone and who deigns to hold the 19th century to its moral failings has his own intellectual burden to bear, because it isn’t his superior intellect or ethics but rather his technological privilege which affords him such scruples. Even as a “poor” college student he lives better than the richest planter aristocrat he decries as evil, and the source of his wealth is far less of his own creation than that of the plantation owner he caricatures.
We celebrate Southern history largely because of the cautionary tale it tells us. Yes, Southern society with its slavery was unjust – and accordingly, the South suffered. It lost an entire generation of its young men in the war, it was subjected to the ignominious occupation by the U.S. Army during Reconstruction, its economy was put under the thumb of often-dishonest “carpetbaggers” from the North and it was impoverished for a century after the war until finally shedding the shackles of racism and backward thinking. But there was good in that society as well; we find it in the charm and hospitality the region is known for, the celebration of masculine spirit without which America’s military exploits would likely not have been possible from the 20th century to the present, the art and architecture, the food. There is a reason that after a long period of exodus more people are moving into the South than out of it, and the foundations of our culture which were laid by those “awful” people in the 19th century are a large part of that reason...
...But it’s clear we have a shortage of intelligent adults. We particularly have that shortage in New Orleans, and have for some time.
It has worsened in recent years, but the exodus of intelligent adults – it’s been called “white flight,” but this is a lie; the middle class and the productive class is made up of people of all races, whether they share similar politics or not – from New Orleans is half a century old. As such, the city is made up of a new class of post-Katrina carpetbaggers, college students who hail mostly from far away, a giant underclass living on poor wages and government assistance, an outsized criminal class in and out of the penal system, small pockets of put-upon middle class homeowners and a declining monied elite. Most of the people who make the New Orleans metro area work have moved out of the city limits, and most of those moved away a generation or two ago.
And it’s mostly those people who have taken up the cause of those monuments. Not because they’re “white supremacists;” that is an ugly slur thrown around by the same social justice warriors who throw around racism as a towel into the ring in admission they lack a better argument. They wish to preserve the history, and a connection to the culture they and their families were raised in.
But they don’t live in New Orleans anymore.
That feeling of powerlessness, of knowing there is nothing they can do to stop the bowdlerization of the city’s history and that of the region, carries with it pain to be sure. But that powerlessness is a choice; these people left. That’s not an indictment of them; they left for a better life in the suburbs or in another city. But the choice carries a consequence – when you leave, it’s those you leave behind who
I left for a better life in Texas and I've said multiple times, best decision I made. I miss the three F'a, Family, Friends and Food. Actually 4, Football. Perhaps Mitch et all should consider why people are leaving the region and not try and buy off race baiters for their support in the next election.
Now we come to the critical question.
The question is what to do about it. Should the productive class, the protectors of the history and tradition of the region, the put-upon and the assailed simply move on? If so, don’t be surprised when the Beauregard takedown begets the Lee takedown and the Lee takedown begets the takedown of the Andrew Jackson statue.
Perhaps this can’t be stopped. Perhaps all that can be done is to inflict one’s own set of consequences on those left in the city.
After all, the productive classes in the suburbs still contribute an enormous economic impact to the city. Maybe that should be rethought. Maybe the restaurateurs who live in Metairie should move their businesses closer to their homes. Maybe the lawyers and stockbrokers with offices in Orleans should decamp for the ‘burbs and eschew the commute.
And maybe the captains of the Mardi Gras krewes who contribute such a massive amount to the city’s economy each year ought to rethink what they’re doing. After all, those krewes were all formed by the same people who contributed to the erection of the Lee, Davis and Beauregard statues. Their heritage is bound up in the same package as those monuments Mitch Landrieu and his bowdlerizing fan club have been howling to destroy.
And most of those krewe members don’t live in New Orleans anymore, either.
There are lots of parade routes in Metairie and Kenner, and lots of them in St. Tammany Parish. Those routes might not have the tradition of a St. Charles Avenue or Canal Boulevard, but they also don’t have the risk of paradegoers being shot...
And these judgments can now be made, because of this corrosive, stupid modern mentality which is taking down the monuments. If the culture which gave us Beauregard is to be scrubbed, then the fruits of that culture shouldn’t be enjoyed – and those wonderful Mardi Gras parades are some of those fruits. Let the good follow the bad out of the city, and let Bacchus and Endymion and the others roll down Veterans Boulevard or Metairie Road for a time.
Yes, last producer turn out the lights on New Orleans. In my life I've seen the population of New Orleans drop fro 905K to an estimated 386K. Also, the population in the 60s was a much greater population of producers, not takers. NOLA was a vibrant city with a future. Now it's rotting from inside.
Mitch Landrieu has achieved his goal, he's bought off the black militant groups in NOLA and will have their support in his next election, be it the senate or governor. He'a also destroyed a great hunk of his city's heritage for his own political ambitions. By the way Mitch, maybe you should have watched the last election. You have enraged a large population of the state to vote against you. Hate to tell you, but you will never win a statewide election.
And this has only just begun. It's not just the four statues they want gone, but from the Take 'Em Down NOLA website, their next targets:
Street names: Palmer Avenue, Calhoun Street, General Taylor Street, Claiborne Avenue, Galvez Street, and over a dozen other major streets.
School names: Tulane University, Henry W. Allen Elementary...
Hospital names: Touro Infirmary, Tulane Medical Center
Monuments: In addition to the four already removed, they want: Rev. Abram Joseph Ryan at Jefferson Davis Parkway, Confederate Brig. Gen. Albert Pike monument at Tulane Avenue and Jefferson Davis Parkway, Henry Clay at Lafayette Square, World War 1 Memorial arch, Andrew Jackson monument in Jackson Square (one of New Orleans' greatest symbols.
And don't worry, they won't stop there.
I've had arguments with friends over these monuments and they don't want "monuments to slave owners" in the city. For some reason they have so issue with a monument to other controversial figures from history, such as Che Guevara. Also, where does it also stop. Will we rename the name of our nation's capital and one state (George Washington), numerous military posts (Fort Benning GA, Barksdale AFB LA, Fort Lee VA), will we remove the Washington and Jefferson Monuments from the capital? Give them time, these race baiter want to.
I've had people, friend and family say, "I'm done with New Orleans..." and "I'll never spend another dime there...." Dead on, it is a city that lives on tourist dollars. I don't know if I'll go that far, I do want to see the World War II Museum again, but I will never attend a convention there, I will never buy dinner there (the Deanne's in Bucktown was always better) and I'll never rent a hotel there.
NOLA, congrats, you have made your pact with the devil Don't worry, the next time the levee's break, those Southerners who came to your aid will said, "Bless your heart. Let it flood."
UPDATE: I hate it when I think of the perfect quote after I publish, but this was the perfect title for this post.
NEW ORLEANS. IT'S NOT THE HEAT. IT'S THE STUPIDITY!