As a historical group dedicated to open and honest discussion of New Orleans’ past, we find the creation of a secret Monument Transition Committee deeply troubling. The 1868 Society has prepared, based on our research into their public statements and associations:
Part 1: An primer on the Lost Cause, its racist past, and why it is not an acceptable historical lens for the committee.
Part 2: Profiles of committee members and their use of hate speech, historical distortion, and ties to white supremacists.
Part 3: Examples of how committee members have actively created or promoted forums for bigotry, anti-Semitism, and violent threats, including against Mayor Cantrell.
Part 4. How committee members want to use the monuments’ re-erection to further racial resentment.
For these reasons, we strongly believe that the committee does not deserve any role in shaping the future of these monuments and that their recommendations are void.
The 1868 Society stands strongly against the continued uncritical acceptance of Lost Cause mythology. The Cult of the Lost Cause has its own cultural, political, and racial history that should be explored in an academic setting – not revered in our streets, parks, or cemeteries.