By Morgan Lawrence
At the empty slab of concrete where Jefferson Davis, the President of the Confederate States of America used to stand, members of the activist group, Take ‘Em Down Nola held a press conference to share with the public on what’s next on the agenda after publicly removing the four confederate statues.
New Orleans native, Malcolm Suber, led the conference. While so-called Christians and White supremacists screamed at him behind the cameras, Suber held his dignity and strength by not even raising his voice as the Confederate groupies shouted without validity, dignity, or respect.
Obviously, racism will not disappear overnight along with the Confederate statues. Suber explained the next steps for Take ‘Em Down Nola are to replace traces of White supremacy in street names and school names. In addition to this, Suber is passionate about lessening the unemployment rate in New Orleans, raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour, and holding more town hall meetings to inform the community and to get them more active in social and political reform.
Suber did not hold back on addressing Mayor Mitch Landrieu. He stated “we’re trying to complete the job and call the mayor out. We want him to use his courage of conviction or we would not have to be out here doing his job.” Questioning Mayor Landrieu’s moral consistency, Suber asked “why does his view not extend to other Confederate monuments?” Ultimately, why not remove all traces of White supremacy lingering in the most mundane parts of New Orleans? Including the beloved backdrop of Andrew Jackson.
Alongside Suber, protester Michael “Quess” Moore expressed their efforts and successes of removing the statues as “a teachable moment.” He explained “it’s a much longer battle and a much bigger mountain we have to climb to defeat White supremacy.”
Four months ago, Take Em Down Nola was just word on the street. Now, with four Confederate monuments down, a fiercer agenda, and a stronger voice, they are just getting started. White supremacy is slowly eradicating, but this team of social and political justice advocates is not going anywhere.