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Confederate flag burned at rally in front of Robert E. Lee statue

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NEW ORLEANS (WGNO) -The Trilateral Commission of New Orleans spoke on the issue of race versus heritage Friday in the wake of President Obama's eulogy for Rev. Clementa Pinckney.

"We're not talking about erasing history today, we're talking about no longer holding up the kind of white supremacy that has held people down for far too long," preached one of the protesters.

The speakers drew similarities between the holocaust and the way that European countries handle the display of the swastika in relation to New Orleans allowing monuments of slave owners to remain in public spaces, which are paid for with tax dollars. They spoke of the vicious cycle these monuments create and what kind of examples it sets for the future of our country, children.

In addition, they warned that the worldview of New Orleans was a negative, segregated one that would only change with the removal of all confederate symbols, including the local schools that are named after former slave owners.

In a powerful attempt to get their message across, the group of protesters burned the Confederate flag in front of the Robert E. Lee monument, then stomped it out while singing "we shall overcome."

Earlier this week, Mayor Mitch Landrieu told reporters he wants to take down the statue of the Confederate general and other Civil War symbols. The move means to bring the city together ahead of its 300th birthday.

“Race is something we must deal with.  Not go over it.  Not go under it.  We must get through it,” Mayor Landrieu said Wednesday.

The demonstration and rally Friday was organized by the Social Justice Organization. They're calling on the New Orleans City Council to join with the mayor and remove statues and monuments that divide the city.

SCLC, NAACP, CUC, Gumbo Tapado, National Action Network, People of European Descent, and BYP 100 all spoke at Friday's rally.

38 comments

  • Dawn

    This is a VERY slippery slope! I thought we wanted unity? The burning of these flags is only the tip of the iceberg if it doesn’t stop soon! There are a lot of Dylann Roof’s watching this on TV! STOP ALL THE HATE!

    • jeff

      They aren’t doing anything but awakening the true white racists up. 90% of us caucation sent racist. We all have to live together. Its what in the heart that matters and not the skin color. But doing all these acts is acts of chilesh shit. They can’t win love with hatred. Its bout to get bad. I hope not but we all know it is.

  • jeb fletch

    this guy ,that started a fire in New Orleans,at Lee Circle,needs to be busted…New Orleans Fire Department,got a problem with this?NOPD,any comments?Mr.Mayor,fire not that close to you?…surely you are feeling heat from somewhere?it is not acceptable,to burn anything,inside city limits,and it is delebrate…New Orleans Fire Department,it is on You…you have all the proof you need…stop this knd of action,before it gets out of hand…

  • Pat Taylor

    ` What a fine, shining example of a community leader he is. I’m guessing he is a self appointed reverend. Just keep preaching the hate rev. You’re everything wrong with America today.

  • SickOfThisCrap

    WHY do you continue to give the racist hatemonger a attention??? Al Sharpton is sending his reps now because he’s such a joke, and he has to keep the racial pot stirred to keep the money coming in. They’re trash and thugs, plain and simple.

  • djtigerman53

    Wow… This is really getting out of hand.. Blacks like Raymond Browne, Jesse Jackson , and Al Sharpton put the word Rev. in front of their name and they become “Activists”. I call them the worst kind of racist because they are dividing us instead of uniting us.. Look into the mirror gentlemen.. How would you like a bunch of white Rev’s show up at MLK’s statue and burn the green black and red flag you are so proud of.

  • Cindy Powell

    FLAGS DO NOT DIVIDE A CITY OR NATION, PEOPLE DO! HISTORY IS ALL AROUND US AND IT CANNOT BE CHANGED OR ERASED! THIS WAS 150+ YEARS AGO! NONE OF US WERE LIVING THEN AND WE CANNOT BE RESPONSIBLE FOR WHAT OUR FOREFATHER’S DID, WAY BACK THEN! REMOVING STATUES, BURNING FLAGS, BANNING HISTORY/HERITAGE ITEMS IS NOT THE ANSWER TO RACIAL TENSION AND VIOLENCE/HATE CRIMES! IGNORANT, HATEFUL, MEAN PEOPLE ARE THE REASON FOR ALL OF THIS AND THERE ARE ALWAYS SOME OUT THERE, LOOKING FOR AN EXCUSE! THIS IS RIDICULOUS AND OUT OF CONTROL! I GUARENTEE , THAT IF ALL OF THESE THINGS HAD ALREADY BEEN BANNED/REMOVED, THIS STILL WOULD HAVE HAPPENED!

  • Mark savell

    Every major city in this country that has a street named after Martin Luther King seems to be to in a unsafe neighborhood, why is that? It’s not because of a Confederate flag or a Confederate statue at some point the black community has to accept responsibility for their own problems created by their own black people and their lack of action to address their community probems
    Without blaming it on the white community thats the reality of it, removing of any Confederate symbol will not change anything for the black I can guarantee you that, always addressing the “MAKES US FEEL GOOD DOING IT” action fixes nothing

  • Leaky Mack

    I wonder how many of the commentators below are from families that ran away from the city to St. Tammany Parish during the 60’s ?

  • Mr.K

    I am not racists person but, Every one has a right to express their beliefs. And not one person cared about the monuments in N.O till people stared crying !! Not even in Louisiana!!! Get off the fucking band wagon and leave up historical monuments. B.c it is part of History. This is a melting pit city. And again no1 had a damn thing to say about Lee Circle ect. Till people started complaing. Who care its part of our history. And the only reason White people even care is b.c the they are jump on w.e band wagon u call it. Even Ray Nagen never worried about Lee circle ! Why b.c its part of history. White, Black,Spanish,ect we are better then that N.O. Some people just lime what the Confederate flags looks like. Not what it represents.. If rappers can wear it w.o ppl saying “oh lookm at luedacris what he wore” he must hate black people? No he proveing a point. Yea their is still racism in parts of the country but we can’t just cut out peaces of history. We mite as well burn the american flag too. B.c we are slowly getting our rights taken away. C’mon mayor Mitch Landrieu stop be a fallower and worry about the bigger issues in New Orleans. Like the crime ,how about raises for our police officers, fixing the damn streets and a way to help the homeless mothers,children and people who are sick. I guess what I’m trying to say is WE HAVE BIGGER FISH TO FRY, RATHER THEN WORRY ABOUT TAREING DOWN HISTORIC MONUMENTS JUST TO JUMP ON THE BAND WAGON MITCH. The black people need to worry about the black on black crime rather then a tareing down landmarks. They have their priorities all mixed up. It a shame y’all can’t come together to stop the killing!!! C’mon N.O!!

  • Earl Earldog Phillips

    Flags, then Statues and next theyll dig up and desecrate confederate graves, theyre looking for a war and when it comes you wont find one of these pieces of shit anywhere. theyll be in the bunker with Obama

  • Joseph Malbrough

    What a reverend burning a flag pressing for racial tension, that folks is not what a reverend does. Why do people want to start racial tension it proves absolutely nothing and will not change anything all of the flags and statues are part of us history. So if they want to start destroying the country go ahead you will be in for the worst fight of their lives.

  • Kerry

    Ok, so we are going to get rid of all of our southern history. Fine. Now, when do we start to get rid of all the African flags, clothing and stuff. After all, they were selling the slaves to others long before America came into existence. It’s only fair to get rid of everything that led up to slavery here in the states.

  • Ricky P. Chuter

    Do not these idiots know Robert E. Lee did have some slaves which he inherited not bought. That he freed them long before the Civil war was over? Do they not know U.S. Grant and other union Generals had slaves till after the war was over and did not free them till the law was changed by Congress? Some people just act stupid without checking the facts.

  • CB

    Read a history book! The Confederate Flag does not represent racism! Betsy Johnson’s flag ( The American Flag) won over the Confederate flag, because it looked to much like a cross! The Confederate flag symbolizes the North and South fighting over wealth, power and poverty! I’m so tired of all this crap that no ones feelings shouldn’t be hurt! Where does it stop? Taking down all the Presidents statues, because someone somewhere feelings were hurt by something he has said or done! My Grandmother always used to tell me to put on my big girl panties, because someone needs to wear them. They ride really hard up your butt, they are really uncomfortable, so be the bigger person and put them on! You can’t make everyone happy and today’s society needs to face it!

  • Red Clay

    Funny the story doesn’t mention the 2,000 people that were there supporting the monument, which by the way is on the National Register and can not legally be moved

  • Butch

    Enough of this crap. Leave our history alone. Instead of removing our heritage, how about these people spend more time fighting the black-on-black murder rate in New Orleans? Oh, this is such an easier target I guess. After all, you have ‘sell – out’ Mitch Landrieu supporting you…some politicans will sell out their city and heritage for votes. Landrieu, that statue and others represented people who worked hard, both black and white, who happened to live in a beautiful place in the south, we call home..Now you and your vote hunting crooked politics have now sold out your city. You should move to Washington DC and live with your sister.

  • Citizen

    Its clear to me who are racist. They prolly bought the flag from a white man and the matches from an Afghan as the Mexicans sit back and watch the show. Only hate can identify hate. Mitch Landrieu you should be ashamed of yourself for causing negatively in your city just to keep the un educated at bay. You say you are against slavery but yet you keep it alive buy tricking people and turning them into votes just to keep your pockets fat. Which is just a smarter form of slavery.

    • YouStupidFucks

      Looks like all the knuckledragging mouthbreathing racist rednecks are gathered here. Stupid inbred whitetrash fucks.

      • Philip Natale

        The flag, statues and monuments don’t ‘seek to divide’. What ‘seeks to divide’ is black spring break, black Miss America, NAACP, Black History Month, United Negro College Fund, Kwanzaa, BET, Bounce, National Black MBA Association, African American Film Festival, Jet, BB&G, American Legacy Magazine, Black Enterprise Magazine, etc. The only ones trying to ‘divide’ is blacks. They want to be segregated. That is the truth. No one can deny that. Not all of them, but apparently enough to make all types of segregated events, holidays, organizations and on and on.

  • Citizen

    It’s clear to me who are racist. They prolly bought the flag from a white man and the matches from an Afghan as the Mexicans sit back and watch the show. Only hate can identify hate. Mitch Landrieu you should be ashamed of yourself. You say you are against slavery but yet you keep it alive by tricking people and turning them into votes just to keep your pockets fat, which is just a smarter form of slavery. You want to impress me? Pay for the removal out of your own pocket and i might say your sincere.

  • Jim

    I sure hope the person in the background holding the sign is also holding the same sign at every black on black murder/shooting incident site in the city and this is not just another racist jab at white people !

  • Destinytrustworthy

    Burning flags does not make a good statement. It’s a form of hate also. It’s not making the problems go away. It’s heating them up. Stop the hate!

  • Michael Santos

    People are screaming out about racial division and racial stereotypes and then they go out protesting holding up signs that say “Black Lives Matter” which only further divides them into a separate group. Let me tell you something people, black lives don’t matter. ALL LIVES MATTER! Black, Hispanic, Asian, Caucasian, etc., we all matter. We are all people and if they want to get their message across that their demographic wants to be treated the same as everyone else then they need to include EVERYONE in the message they are trying to get across.

  • Philip Natale

    The flag, statues and monuments don’t ‘seek to divide’. What ‘seeks to divide’ is black spring break, black Miss America, NAACP, Black History Month, United Negro College Fund, Kwanzaa, BET, Bounce, National Black MBA Association, African American Film Festival, Jet, BB&G, American Legacy Magazine, Black Enterprise Magazine, etc. The only ones trying to ‘divide’ is blacks. They want to be segregated. That is the truth. No one can deny that. Not all of them, but apparently enough to make all types of segregated events, holidays, organizations and on and on.

  • Pike

    I am not in favor of removing historical markers or monuments. They present history both the good and the bad. It is a collective experience that shape who we are today. We should erase the fact that may have revered certain people. It can serve as a reminder of past attitudes and values.

  • James

    An Robert E. Lee didn’t kill one of the protesters. As for black lives matter, what a joke. They matter to most everyone but blacks. Blacks are killing blacks at a 5 to 1 ratio over whites killing blacks and 10 to one over police killing blacks. The flag or Robert E Lee has killed anyone. People kill people and symbols, such as the flag , are and excuse. Doing away with the flag will not stop the killing of whites or blacks.

  • Jaddy Baddy

    When you’re told a Yankee bar
    doesn’t have a Men’s Room, you
    don’t need a “Yankees ONLY” sign.
    When the first thing the black guy
    next to you says is “HONKY”, you
    don’t need a “NO Whites” sign
    at the P.O. When your black super
    gives you a job that will take 20
    minutes past the end of the shift,
    and He punches out Your time card,
    you know you just served 20 minutes
    of P.O. slavery.

    When my Jewish recruiter shorts me
    two hundred miles on my paycheck,
    I know I just served a day in Jewish
    slavery. When my college PA tells me
    to not bother asking the other PAs
    for help, because they “only help
    their own kind” I know what kind of
    college it is. When the Latin prof
    calls a break ten minutes before the
    end of class so the Viet kid next to
    you can steal your programs and papers,
    you know what kind of college it is.

    When three Trillion Dollars of gentile
    money disappears, I don’t need a Jews
    Only sign on Wall Street. When Nobody
    gets prosecuted, and not a dime of that
    3 trillion recovered, I don’t need a
    Jews Only sign on the SEC. When White
    people are the only people charged with
    hate crimes in Uhmerica, I don’t need
    a No Whites sign on the Justice Department.

    When I’m the only white in line and the
    cashier takes a fifteen minute break when
    I get to the front, I don’t need a sign
    to tell me white people ain’t welcome at
    Walmart, or KFC, or McDonald’s, I already
    know white people ain’t welcome at Walmart,
    or KFC, or McDonald’s.

    I don’t need Bayrock Obama and John
    Lewis to tell me what kind of racist
    country flies the Yankee Jack, I Know
    what kind of racist country flies the
    Yankee Jack. I don’t have to be told
    I’m sitting at the back of this
    galldamn Yankee bus, I want to know
    how the hell to get off this galldamn
    Yankee bus.

  • Reality2015

    People who offer no positive solutions seek only to tear things down they can’t even understand. They point fingers at others, while avoiding the mirror. They don’t want unity, it would involve personal responsibilities. This is 2015, and people are still living in the last century!! Time to deal with reality.

  • James insanity

    Racism will end when the blacks talk about pasted racism they have done to the jews. It will end when the black preachers will tell the world that they have very close ties with radical islam. When they confess there as much a supremacist as any white. Another words you blacks are full of sh!t. Daddies watching Liars! Da truff

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