Moon Landrieu: removal of Confederate flag from council chambers ‘had to be done’
Articles,  Blog

Moon Landrieu: removal of Confederate flag from council chambers ‘had to be done’


10:00. ANOTHER HOT TOPIC. A FORMER MAYOR ADDRESSES THE HISTORY OF THE CONFEDERATE FLAG IN NEW ORLEANS, AND HIS ROLE IN REMOVING IT FROM A PUBLIC BUILDING. IT ALL HAPPENED 45 YEARS AGO. TODAY, WDSU ANCHOR LATONYA NORTON SAT DOWN WITH MOON LANDRIEU FOR A HISTORY LESSON OF SORTS. I DIDN’T KNOW THE FLAG WAS IN THE CHAMBER UNTIL I GOT ELECTED AND TOOK MY SEAT. LATONYA: FACT IS, MOST NEW ORLEANIANS DIDN’T. THE YEAR WAS 1969, SAYS FORMER MAYOR MOON LANDRIEU. JUST 36 YEARS OLD AT THE TIME, AN AT LARGE MEMBER OF THE NEW ORLEANS CITY COUNCIL. FULL OF SOCIAL AND RACIAL JUSTICE THEORIES, COMING OFF 6 YEARS OF SERVING IN THE IN THE LOUISIANA HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, FIGHTING SEGREGATION POLICIES. THAT’S WHEN HE SAYS HE NOTICED THE CONFEDERATE FLAG IN THE COUNCIL CHAMBER. AND I TOLD THEM THAT I’D LIKE TO GET THE FLAG OUT OF THE CHAMBER. I DON’T THINK IT WAS SERVING US WELL, AND ONLY PHILLIP CIACCIO AGREED WITH THAT. THE OTHER FIVE MEMBERS DIDN’T. LATONYA: WITHOUT ENOUGH SUPPORT, THE FLAG STAYED, STATIONED AMONG OTHERS AT EVERY COUNCIL MEETING. UNTIL, SAYS LANDRIEU, EDDIE SAPIR JOINED THE COUNCIL. THE CURRENT — A FORMER JUDGE AND LEGISLATOR — WAS NEW TO POLITICS BACK THEN, LIKE LANDRIEU, HE WANTED THE FLAG TO GO. AND I SAID I’VE BEEN WAITING ALL MY LIFE FOR YOU, MAN WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN? I THINK BOTH OF US WERE FROM A YOUNGER GENERATION. WE DIDN’T SEE ANY REASON TO PERPETUATE A CAUSE THAT WAS LOST AND A CAUSE THAT WAS NOT JUSTIFIED TO START WITH, WHICH WAS THE PERPETUATION OF SLAVERY. LATONYA: TOGETHER WITH SOME SUPPORTING COUNCIL MEMBERS, LANDRIEU AND SAPIR HAD ENOUGH VOTES TO REMOVE THE FLAG, AND ON MAY 16, 1969 SAPIR FILED A MOTION — APPROVED BY THE COUNCIL — WHICH READS “THE ONLY FLAG TO BE PREMANENTLY STATIONED IN THE COUNCIL CHAMBERS OF CITY HALL SHALL BE THE FLAG OF THE UNITED STATES.” LAUNDRIEU SAYS TO THEM THE FLAG MADE NO SENSE. WHY AFTER CLOSE TO A HUNDRED YEARS ARE WE STILL ARGUING ABOUT THIS THING? IT’S OVER WITH. NOW LET’S GET ON WITH TRYING TO CORRECT THE DAMAGE THAT WAS DONE RATHER THAN KEEP INFLICTING , THESE INSULTS ON A MINORITY POPULATION. LATONYA: FROM 1970 TO 1978, MAYOR MOON LANDRIEU DESEGREGATED CITY GOVERNMENT AND PUBLIC FACILITIES, APPOINTING AFRICAN AMERICANS TO TOP POSITIONS, DECADES LATER A DEBATE CONTINUES IN SEVERAL PLACES OVER FLAG’S MEANING AND MESSAGE. I THINK I WAS ABSOLUTELY RIGHT IN WHAT WE DID, BUT I DIDN’T CERTAINLY DO IT WITH EDDIE’S SENSE OF HEROICS. IT WAS JUST SOMETHING THAT HAD TO BE DONE. I STILL DON’T KNOW WHO PUT IT THERE. I KNOW WHO REMOVED IT. LATONYA: ON YOUR SIDE, LATONYA NORTON, WDSU NEWS. GINA: AFTER LEAVING OFFICE IN 1978, LANDRIEU SERVED AS SECRETARY OF THE UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF HOUSING AND URBAN DEVELOPMENT OR HUD. HE IS THE FATHER OF FORMER U.S. SENATOR MARY LANDRIEU AND OF CURRENT NEW ORLEANS MAYOR MITCH

One Comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *