A Forum for Hate

A graphic by former State Museum Boardmember Jeffrey Guice

The local ‘monument defender’ social media sphere is a constant stream of hate speech, white supremacy, historical distortion, and violent threats directed at anyone that challenges the Lost Cause narrative. Until recently, this included Latoya Cantrell, as both committee members and their fellow monument supporters singled the then-councilmember out for online abuse.

Committee member Charles Marsala spent months obsessed with Cantrell’s ties to a potential Slave Ship Museum, weaving a convoluted conspiracy theory involving alleged kickbacks, secret negotiations, and anti-Semitic accusations about the Aspen Institute and Walter Isaacson.



A selection of Marsala’s posts on the Slave Ship museum.

Marsala’s invocation of the Aspen Institute is not as random as it seems; both he and committee member Miriam Owens have spread the idea that Cantrell is secretly controlled by Isaacson as part of an “Agenda 21…United Nations” conspiracy that “Cantrell and Landrieu are members of and answer to.” Marsala and Owens’ ‘information’ comes from a local former WGSO host named Mark Cvitanovic, aka ‘Goyim,’ who was fired for anti-Semitic rants, threatening local activists, and promoting Holocaust denial. (Richard Marksbury was a frequent guest on his show.)

Mark Cvitanovic – who helped threaten local businesses during the monument debate – has an bottomless capacity to promote bigotry. On his old show, Mark welcomed a host of white supremacists from David Duke to Charlottesville ‘Unite the Right’ headliner Augustus Invictus, spending hours telling his listeners that Walter Isaacson and other ‘Zionists’ controlled Latoya Cantrell and the levers of power in New Orleans.The idea that George Soros or Isaacson or the Aspen Institute or ‘globalists’ secretly control governments is a favorite of white supremacists and anti-Semites worldwide. And yet committee members Marsala, Owens, and Marksbury have all promoted, supported, and agreed with Cvitanovic’s theories to their thousands of followers.

This is not an isolated incident: Owens, Marsala, and the Monumental Task Committee have also distributed material from local white nationalist group Identity Acadia, a group dedicated to the extermination of African-Americans in Louisiana. (Read more on that here.)

Also, Marsala repeatedly dogwhistled Cantrell’s California hometown, going out of his way to work in a Compton reference even after the election – ironically, perhaps, since the New Orleans-born Marsala was once himself a (controversial) mayor in California.

With all his posting, many of his followers and friends got the message:

“Latoya should be hung!” “New Orleans is screwed as long as it remains a black majority city”

This is the ecosystem the Monument Transition Committee represents and encourages. Why should we believe their motives are pure? They aren’t – see Part Four.

We’ll give the last word to the moderators of Save Our Circle – a group that includes our state attorney general – who all liked this post: