As Confederate Monuments Come Down, the Struggle Continues

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A statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee is removed from Lee Circle Friday, May 19, 2017, in New Orleans.

After extended legal battles and fierce opposition, New Orleans recently took down four Confederate memorials: statues of Confederate president Jefferson Davis, generals P.G.T. Beauregard and Robert E. Lee, and an obelisk exalting the Battle of Liberty Place, a white supremacist attack from the Reconstruction era. In a widely-heard speech marking the removals, Mayor Mitch Landrieu said the monuments "celebrate a fictional, sanitized Confederacy, ignoring the death, ignoring the enslavement, ignoring the terror that it actually stood for." But the struggle to tell a truer story of the Civil War and continued oppression of African-Americans in New Orleans goes back decades, with deep roots in the black community. Bob talks with Malcolm Suber, an historian and co-founder of the group Take 'Em Down NOLA, about the significance of removing monuments to white supremacy, and the work that still remains to be done.


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