Sam Mesuch came from Port Sulphur to see the Andrew Jackson monument in Jackson Square, and once he heard it could be on the removal list, said that would be a big mistake.
“If they take away the monument you take away New Orleans,” Mesuch said. “A lot of people come here to see it and if you take it away, you take away a piece of New Orleans, I feel.”
Historically Jackson was in admired figure, he was the seventh President of the United States. He was a war hero. He’s been on more dollar bills than any other person. He also has numerous landmarks in his honor around the U.S.; four of this statue. However, according to Tulane professor Dr. Richard Marksbury, Jackson was no saint.
“Well he owned more than 300 slaves in his life,” said Marksbury. “He signed the Indian Removal Act when he was president of the U.S. That resulted in more than 4,000 deaths of peaceful Native Americans. He confiscated 25 million acres of their land which became cotton fields.”
Marksbury addressed the Government Affairs Committee saying these actions alone should place Jackson alongside the other monuments slighted for removal.
City code states the monuments can be removed if it “suggests the supremacy of one ethnic, religious, or racial group over any other.”
“There is no question that it honors somebody ideologically we would not honor today,” Marksbury added.
Councilwoman Stacey Head, who voted to keep the city’s confederate monuments, said there needs to be a consistency with removing all the statues.
“I detest inconsistency,” Head said. “I go by the old adage, if it is horse poop, then tell me it is. Don’t put sugar on it and call it a brownie.”
No one else spoke to the matter besides Marksbury or Councilwoman Head and there wasn’t a vote of any sort Thursday.
The next steps to removing the statues are tied up in the courts.