Think Before You (Lamp) Post

New Orleans has seen its share of debates over Civil War statues and monuments lately (although it interests me that the monument to the Battle of Liberty Place, a Reconstruction event that was clearly linked to the restoration of white supremacy, is sometimes classified as a “Civil War” monument). It looks as if three clearly Confederate monuments may be relocated, although I’ll believe it when I see it (note that this blog has not taken a position on removing such monuments, believing that it’s up to the community to decide …  a point lost on some readers, particularly those who want to erect straw men to go with their whine).

Now comes a project that I find amusing, to say the least. New Orleans has recently opened a new streetcar line along North Rampart Street, which is northeast of historic Jackson Square.

Green NOLA
Courtesy WGNO.

In keeping with a restoration theme, the city decided to place brightly-painted green streetlamps along the route. They are based upon the original lamp posts, nearly ninety years old in design. The lamp posts carry inscriptions on the four sides as a nod to local history:

One reads, “Spanish Domination 1769-1803.”  Another one marks the period France ruled.  Yet another side reads, “American Domination 1803-1861 1865 To Date.”

You’ll never guess what the fourth side reads.

The fourth side on the base of the new light posts reads, “Confederate Domination 1861-1865.”

Courtesy WGNO.

To be sure, there are some problems with this designation. The Confederacy did not “dominate” New Orleans during the entire American Civil War. Just ask David G. Farragut, who seized it in April 1862, or Benjamin Butler, who  soon dominated the city (and perhaps its spoons) during a controversial stint as occupation commander. So the sign needs modification.

Also recall who owned New Orleans just before the US acquired it in 1803. Hint: Spain did not sell Louisiana to the United States. It was French again, although for less than a month.

The designations seem as pointless as they are misinformed, and what does “domination” actually mean?

The first picture clearly suggests that these designations are rather easy to remove (and may already have been subject to vandalism). Yet, as soon as a local television station reported this story … Confederate heritage apologists went crazy.

Note how quickly race entered the discussion in various social media sites, as well as politics and that hobby horse of the mindless, “political correctness” (which continues to be the best way to denigrate without discussing something).

All we now need is the Virginia Flaggers to declare that the lamp posts aren’t coming down to make sure that they do. Otherwise, much ado about nothing. What silliness.


9 thoughts on “Think Before You (Lamp) Post

  1. bob carey March 18, 2017 / 5:15 pm

    British Intel is behind this in order to deflect questions about their wiretaps on Trump Tower. That “outstanding legal mind” on Fox verified this with the National Enquirer. We can expect a tweet anytime now.
    I know my statements are ridiculous, but these are the times we live in.

      • bob carey March 18, 2017 / 8:29 pm

        Oops. Sorry about that.

  2. Mark March 18, 2017 / 10:16 pm

    >> what does “domination” actually mean?

    There should have been a 5th side of it with this question on it. 🙂

  3. John Foskett March 19, 2017 / 7:47 am

    They’re not ridiculous, Bob. If anything they make more sense than what that posse of clowns would likely come up with. Think about Spicer holding a presser on this.

  4. Jimmy Dick March 19, 2017 / 9:07 am

    The neo-confederates just cannot handle it when people reject the lies the neo-confederate keep trying to pass off as history.

    • Shoshana Bee March 19, 2017 / 12:41 pm

      This is sort of related to your comment, Mr. Dick. Elsewhere, I have read a discussion on this lamp post debacle (inspired by this blog) and whilst I should know by now not to let anything 1. surprise me 2. bother me, the vehement response from the heritage folk was to defend and explain the validity of the embarrassingly incorrect history (as displayed on the lamp posts) does both. This attempt to validate the patently incorrect statements such as “Confederate Domination 1861-1865” would be like trying to say that France was still in control during the German Occupation.

      I need reassurance that this sort of mindset is a small small minority — so small that they can be laughed off.

  5. Nightflyer March 20, 2017 / 9:45 am

    Why use the phrase “domination” in the first place?

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