A monument to reflect the city

Over the past few months, public discourse about changing the name of Robert E. Lee Circle has been on the rise. The monument is a hot topic because it controversially memorializes the Confederate General Robert E. Lee. In May, New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu expressed his opinion on the subject during his State of the City Address when he called for the removal of monuments that honor the Confederacy. Though there hasn’t been a consensus on how to move forward, there has recently been a slight shift in the conversation.

After New Orleans musician Allen Toussaint died Nov. 10, a petition was made to change the name of Lee Circle to commemorate Toussaint. The petition points out that, ideally, changing the circle’s name to Allen Toussaint Circle will be a “less divisive solution to the ‘monument issue.'” The petition also states, “there isn’t a more fitting individual [than Toussaint]” who “contributed so much to the city, the nation and the world.”

Monuments should be reflective of the cultures and communities that house them. New Orleans is an ever-changing city and Allen Toussaint is a figure that represents those changes. His influence on jazz music and his contributions to this city’s legacy make him an honorable candidate to memorialize. Though these decisions shouldn’t be made in haste, Allen Toussaint seems like the appropriate person to take on General Lee’s position at the circle, representing all of the best things in this beautiful city.

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