AP Wire

Caddo Parish confronts its Confederate mythology

by The Associated Press

Erected in 1906, the Confederate monument in front of the Caddo Parish Courthouse features a generic Confederate soldier, the busts of four generals and a mythological female figure who is sad the South lost the Civil War.
Photo by Michael Barera/Wikimedia

People in Shreveport are meeting to discuss the future of a Confederate monument in front of the parish's courthouse.

The Shreveport Times reports) that a citizen advisory committee of the Caddo Parish Commission was created last year to develop recommendations on what to do with the monument.

Possible suggestions include removing the monument entirely or demolishing it, leaving it as it is or creating additional memorials.

The committee is holding four public meetings to gather input before making their non-binding recommendation to the parish commission.

The first meeting was held Thursday night. The newspaper reports the majority of the 30 people who attended spoke in favor of keeping the monument.

Former Caddo Parish Commissioner David Cox said that taking down the monument was akin to killing history.

"We all have history. We didn't plan it, but it's our history," he said. "I was told one time that what you do leaves your legacy. You take down this monument, and you're going to have a legacy of killing history."

At least one person at the meeting said that instead of taking down the monument, another memorial honoring African-American leaders could be put up.

"Rather than taking it down, we should add something that memorializes other people from the Confederate times, such as the abolitionists and the people that suffered slavery," Rita Nelson said. "This room's pretty much 95 percent white, which doesn't really represent our city, so I do think we should get input from everyone in our town about it."

The monument was dedicated in 1906. It consists of a Confederate soldier and four Confederate generals.

The discussion comes as New Orleans has taken down two of four Confederate monuments in the city and plans to take down the remaining two soon. The removals were voted on in 2015 but stalled for months while those trying to keep the monuments up pushed the issue in the courts.