A Monument Transition Committee has offered recommendations to determine the future of three of the monuments removed in 2017. This team included no Civil War historians, no art historians, no one who believed the monuments should have come down, no one who is not white, and no one under the age of 45. It met in secret.
As detailed below, the ‘Monument Transition Committee’ is riddled with nostalgia for the Confederacy, hate speech, and overt racism, their social media pages an echo chamber of historical distortion and bigotry. Fervent worshippers in the Cult of the Lost Cause, this committee’s real goal is clear: to permanently enshrine the idols of the Lost Cause’s white supremacy as part of our landscape.
Click on the links to see The 1868 Society’s profiles. Some highlights:
• The reconstituted RE Lee Monumental Association posts a series of articles by a neo-Confederate publication that claims emancipation was a tragedy and slavery was a career.
• The Monumental Task Committee seems to have partnered with a white nationalist group determined to exterminate blacks from Louisiana to create a Cajun homeland.
• Charles Marsala, the head of a group dedicated to ‘saving NOLA heritage,’ went on white power podcasts to make anti-Semitic accusations that the Rothschilds bankrolled monument protests.
• Miriam Owens, maker of the ‘Forever Lee Circle’ beads, has claimed that slaves lived “in the safety” of plantations “without fear of mistreatment” while also mocking monuments to the slave trade.
• Richard Marksbury, the most vocal “academic” on this issue, has appeared repeatedly on a local radio show hosted by Holocaust deniers alongside David Duke.
• Frank Stewart has claimed – against basic facts and decency – that “the monuments honor great leaders in history who felt slavery was evil and worked to end its practice.”
These are not fringe members but the faces of their movement, in their own words and associations. These aren’t coincidence; this is a pattern. Are these the people that New Orleans should entrust the monuments to?