Mayor Mitch Landrieu argues in his new book that entrenched business interests in Louisiana who opposed the removal of Confederate monuments amounts to institutionalized racism, according to an early review of the book.
Titled “In the Shadow of Statues: A White Southerner Confronts History,” Landrieu’s book is due out March 20. Kirkus Reviews calls Landrieu’s book “a powerful, welcome manifesto in the cause of a new and better South, and says Landrieu “unhesitatingly declares” that the process of removing Confederate monuments represented “institutional racism.”
Quoting Landrieu from the book, Kirkus writes that Confederate monument removal “wasn’t sitting well with some of the powerful business interests in the state,” and the mayor talks about the previously reported death threats that contractors received. Landrieu seems to go further in his discussion of that issue, framing the lack of available resources for removal as institutionalized racism.
“You may have the law on your side,” Landrieu writes, referencing the 6-1 City Council vote to remove the monuments. “But if someone else controls the money, the machines or the hardware you need to make your new law work, you are screwed.”
Kirkus writes that Landrieu argues that African-Americans “know all about this perversion of justice,” but that the book provides an “eye-opener” to those who don’t know about that side of the issue.
The review also says that Landrieu allows that although symbols can be taken down as physical removals, it will take much longer to change the views of people in the South, “particularly given the intransigent leadership of people like David Duke.”
You can read the full review here.