New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu (D) on Wednesday called for a review of his city’s Confederate monuments and apologized for the city’s role in the slave trade.
Elected officials throughout the American South swiftly moved to take down Confederate flags and remove monuments to Civil War-era generals after South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley (R) on Monday asked legislators to remove the flag from the state Capitol grounds. The white man accused of killing nine people last week at a historic black church in Charleston apparently posed with the Confederate flag in several photos taken prior to the massacre.
Landrieu called for a committee to look at Confederate symbols throughout the city, including statues of Robert E. Lee and Gen. G. T. Beauregard, at a forum addressing race relations, according to local TV station WWL.
But the crowd at the forum gave the mayor the greatest applause when he apologized for New Orleans’ role in the slave trade, according to the news station.
“Let me, as the chief executive officer of this government, in this city that one moment in history sold more slaves into slavery than anywhere else in America apologize for this country’s history and legacy of slavery,” he said, as quoted by WWL.