The monuments at issue include statues of Confederate Army Commander Robert E. Lee, Confederate Army General P.G.T. Beauregard, and Jefferson Davis, President of the Confederate States of America. A monument to the Battle of Liberty Place, an attempted insurrection by a white supremacist league against New Orleans’ legal Reconstruction government, is also up for removal.
“New Orleans must doggedly and uncompromisingly embrace and promote freedom for all," Deputy Mayor Andy Kopplin wrote in the letter announcing the donor’s offer. “These four monuments stand in direct contradiction to the ideal of freedom enshrined in our Constitution and their presence in our city was meant to perpetuate a false history that literally puts the Confederacy on a pedestal.”
Back in June, New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu requested a review of the city’s Confederate monuments and issued a public apology for the role New Orleans played in the global slave trade. But Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal (R) has suggested he may intervene to prevent the removal of the statues.
In August, Jindal spokesman Doug Cain told the New Orleans Advocate that “Gov. Jindal opposes the tearing down of these historical statues and has instructed his staff to look into the Heritage Act to determine the legal authority he has as governor to stop it.”