In the Shadow of Statues: A White Southerner Confronts History by Mitch Landrieu:
In 2010, when I was first elected mayor, New Orleans had a 60 percent black citizenry and a rich, flourishing African American culture, vital to our economy. But in the first few years of my term, I honestly didn’t think much about the presence of Confederate monuments. The big hurdle was to jump-start the rebuilding process after Hurricane Katrina had left my city on life support.
In 2012, when Trayvon Martin was killed, protests sometimes began and ended at the statue of Jefferson Davis, or Lee Circle, where Robert E. Lee stands on a huge pedestal at a major traffic juncture. It heated up as the country struggled with police violence from Ferguson to New York to Baltimore. The statues were often “tagged” with spray paint. “Black Lives Matter.” “RIP.” “BLM.” “No justice, no peace.” Our departments of property management or sanitation often had to go out to clean the graffiti. The connection did not seem as obvious to me at that point.