Richard Marksbury: I’m not a historian

A professor at Tulane, Richard Marksbury uses his title to claim academic authority even as he argues tired Lost Cause glorification. (He is not a history professor, though you can read his dissertation on land tenure in the Yap Islands here.)

Never one to turn down an interview, he appeared at least five times on The Battle of New Orleans, a radio show on WGSO 990AM that was eventually shut down due to constant anti-Semitism, threats on local activists, and use of racial slurs on air. The Battle of New Orleans hosted such guests as William Finck, the leader of the white nationalist League of the South, Mark Weber, the head of America’s largest Holocaust-denial organization, and – this being Louisiana – David Duke.

In fact, Richard Marksbury and David Duke appeared on the same show together. Marksbury even had praised Duke’s “brains” for getting the Liberty Place monument restored in the 1990s. (How did that go again?)

Marksbury’s interviews with Battle of New Orleans show how the more radical, alt-right lovers of the Confederacy blend into the more respectable, button-down Lost Causers. In talking to Marksbury, when host Nathan Laurenson refers to Mitch as a “United Nations / Soros-sellout whore of a mayor,” or “Mitch the Globalist,” Marksbury’s response is not to rebuke these bizarre assertions but simply to ask the audience to support him in his nuisance lawsuits and go-nowhere petitions.

(Incidentally, local political personality Jeff Crouere, who programs WGSO, took two years to notice that one of his hosts called himself “Goyim,” a reference to ‘the Goyim know,’ an anti-Semitic meme that claims a vast Jewish conspiracy, and used skinhead rap as commercial bumpers.)

Marksbury has also appeared with Charles Marsala on the Daily Kenn, a white supremacist website hosted by someone who believes that white people are “in the aggregate” smarter than African-Americans or Latinos.

Because he bathes in the Lost Cause, Marksbury is a master of what he thinks is a ‘reductio ad absurdum’ argument but is actually what the kids call “a self-own.” His ‘tongue-in-cheek‘ lawsuit demanding Andrew Jackson be torn down is exactly what his erstwhile enemies at Take ‘Em Down NOLA have demanded. In his review of Landrieu’s book, Marksbury argues that Mitch shouldn’t single out a “Southern society that relied on slave labor” for criticism without implicating the entire American economic system; this is basically what Karl Marx discussed in the 1860s. He has said monument protesters are driven by “emotion” and want “safe spaces” and then, in the same paragraph, whined about “the hurt…I would have if they take down the monument,” saying “the people who get the attention paid to them right now are the minorities, and their emotions.”

Here’s the rare double-self-own, as Stacy Head and Richard Marksbury discuss why Bienville’s statue should be taken down.

And now, after months of complaining about Landrieu’s process and the lack of a city-wide vote, Marksbury and his committee have unilaterally (and secretly) decided what to do with the monuments. Can we please send him back to Yap?