Friday, May 26, 2017


Today would have been my mom's 94th birthday.  It also marks the beginning of the Memorial Day weekend, when America honors veterans with truck sales and a PGA tournament.  And with that out of the way, I promise a snark-free post.

The Trump Traipse staggers on, with the Orange One finding time in his schedule of insulting our allies and embarrassing us to congratulate Montana on electing a thug to Congress.  No snark, fact.  I have rarely been more discouraged to find myself the holder of a blue United States passport, or more inclined to swap it for anyone else's.  (My great-grandfather came here from Ireland in 1900 -- will that get me citizenship from the Republic?  They still have a blasphemy law on the books, and the dear knows if you can get birth control, but nobody's perfect.) 

And then, out of the blue, I came upon an American politician being hopeful, being eloquent and being right.  It was so unexpected that I cried a little,  and for the first time I almost wished I live in...

New Orleans.  Where Mayor Mitch Landrieu ordered the dismantling of the statues of three infamous men, which had stood for decades on public land:  Jefferson Davis, P.G.T. Beauregard and Robert E. Lee.  I was a little disappointed that, to protect the workers and police, they had to come down at night.  These depositions should have occurred, like lynchings, in bright daylight before festive crowds, who could chop off pieces for souvenirs or to sell on eBay.  (How much would you bid for a bong made from Lee's hollow head?)  And then I read Mayor Landrieu's remarks, and I wish I could quote them in full.  This is the crux:

"It is self-evident that these men did not fight for the United States of America.  They fought against it.  They may have been warriors, but in this cause they were not patriots.  These statues are not just stone and metal.  They are not just innocent remembrances of a benign history.  These monuments purposefully celebrate a fictional, sanitized Confederacy, ignoring the death, ignoring the enslavement, and the terror that it actually stood for."

It occurs to me that the mayor may well be positioning himself to run for higher office.  It's the realist/cynic in me.  And so what?  In a party that is short on charismatic candidates under the age of seventy, he could emerge as one of the stars.  It will be up to the NOLA PD to keep him alive and well, given the rising tide of Trump-inspired violence in this country.  I really hope I'm worried about nothing, but this is also JFK's centenary.


"Who controls the past controls the future."  The enemy has controlled our past long enough.


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