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.