We, the residents of Caddo Parish, submit that the time has come for the removal of the Confederate statue at the courthouse. It is time to take immediate action to remove this monument to slavery, sedition and racial oppression.
Additionally, it is our assertion that this statue subverts and undermines our core principles of liberty and justice for all. It is unconscionable that anyone going to the courthouse, a place promising equal justice for all, should be forced to do so under a shadow of injustice and suppression.
We appeal to the Caddo Parish Commission to outline and commit to a process for the timely and definitive removal of this statue.
- Louisiana is home to numerous Civil War museums & historic sites. Any of these dedicated locations would be an appropriate venue for the Confederate monument. The statue would finally be protected from repeated vandalism and preserved in its historic context, and the controversy surrounding its current placement would be resolved. (Source: www.crt.state.la.us/tourism/pressroom/history-and-heritage/civil-war-sites/)
- The legality of removing Confederate monuments has been affirmed by both the City of New Orleans and the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals. (Source: www.courthousenews.com/fifth-circuit-approves-removal-confederate-statues/)
- The monument and its property do not belong to the Daughters of the Confederacy. Caddo Parish Attorney Donna Frazier stated the following in a special meeting of the Long Range Planning/Special Projects Committee on June 9, 2016: a title opinion was performed by United Title at the request of Mr. Dannye Malone, and the Parish does own the land that the monument sits on. There was a meeting of the Police Jury in 1903 that gave the use of that land to the United Daughters of the Confederacy at that time; however, that is not sufficient to convey title to that plat. That plat shows to belong to the Parish in the courthouse. She stated that the Parish owns the land that the monument sits on. Sadly, the Shreveport Chapter 237 of the United Daughters of the Confederacy continue to mislead the public by misrepresenting their "ownership" of this property. (Source: www.caddo.org/AgendaCenter/ViewFile/Item/3753?fileID=3527)
- No competitive bid process is required by law if removal of the statue costs less than $152,400.00. The City of New Orleans contracted the expeditious removal of the Gen. P.G.T. Beauregard statue for $150,000; therefore, the Caddo Parish Commission should be able to procure a removal contractor for $150,000.00 or less. (Source: www.nola.com/politics/index.ssf/2017/04/confederate_monuments_bid_limi.html)
- This statue has only recently been accepted into the National Park Service's National Register of Historic Places Program; it's entry date was January 29, 2014. The statue is also categorized as a representation of "The Cult of the Lost Cause," which is described by the NPS as "(dominating) Southern cultural history in the early twentieth century, and is still alive and well today." These facts are peripherally relevant to the perceived artistic & historic value of the statue, but do not in any way justify the statue's controversial location in our public square. (Source: www.nps.gov/nr/feature/places/13001124.htm)
- Proponents of Confederate statues have publicly stated the following comments on a Shreveport-based website. These comments do not reflect the values of most Shreveporters or most Louisianans, but are an indication of the social divide that is perpetuated by people who are sympathetic to the antiquated cause of the Confederacy. Shreveporters are hopeful that the relocation of the Confederate statue to an appropriate museum will bring an end to divisive outbursts like these:
"Burn the city, then they have to listen, it works for the other breed."
"Non native radicals are pushing this agenda to reinterpret our history and culture..."
"Please call your legislators to end the cultural and historical cleansing of our state...These radicals want Andrew Jackson, Bienville, Joan of Arch (sic) and other statues gone!"
"...I think it is time to BURN DOWN the city...the CIVIL WAR should start anew."
"What if the SOUTH had won the war?? Where would black people be right now?"
"You will not taint our proud and noble history with your black hatred for all that stood upright."
"This is an act of war against an entire people."