As he prepares to kick off a national book tour, Mayor Mitch Landrieu is also making an appearance on Sunday's "60 Minutes," discussing the removal of four of the city's Confederate monuments and even taking correspondent Anderson Cooper to the undisclosed site where two of the statues now sit.
The segment will be included in the second part of a two-part edition of "60 Minutes" airing Sunday. The segment featuring Landrieu is scheduled to air at 7 p.m. Sunday on WWL-TV Channel 4.
Cooper's segment focuses on the nationwide movement to remove Confederate statues and symbols, including Landrieu as part of the segment. "New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu has taken down four in his city because the message they send about the Civil War is 'a lie,'" says CBS in a press release about the segment. "But others interviewed for the story believe the monuments are a part of our shared history and should stay."
“Really what these monuments were, were a lie,” Landrieu says in the story. Discussing the removed statues of Jefferson Davis, Gen. P.G.T Beauregard and Robert E. Lee, Landrieu says “Lee was used as an example to send a message to the rest of the country, and to all the people that lived here, that the Confederacy was a noble cause. And that's just not true. The whole point was to convince people that actually they won, and even in their defeat, it was a noble cause.”
In the segment, Landrieu shows Cooper the shed where those statues were being stored. CBS says "60 Minutes" agreed not to disclose the location.
On Wednesday, just shy of a year since the city’s controversial decision to remove the four Confederate monuments from their longtime locations, Landrieu announced preliminary plans for the sites where they sat.
Landrieu said that before he leaves office on May 7, the city will perform “beautification” work at Lee Circle and leave in place the column on which the statue of the Confederate general stood. He said the city will partner with the Foundation for Louisiana to begin a public process to figure out what should replace Lee. Donations to that foundation were used to pay for much of the cost of removing the monuments. That kept most of the expense from being footed by taxpayers, but it also kept the public from learning who paid most of the cost. The city said it expects an update on the future of Lee Circle by June but that a decision likely will not come until the fall.
The Ford Foundation will pay for the public process to decide the future of Lee Circle.
At the three other sites:
- An American flag will go where the statue of Confederate President Jefferson Davis once stood at Canal Street and South Jefferson Davis Parkway.
- The pedestal at the entrance to City Park on Bayou St. John where the statue of Gen. P.G.T. Beauregard was located will be removed and the area landscaped.
- The patch of grass behind the Westin Hotel where the Liberty Place monument stood will remain vacant.
The future of the statues and monument will, however, be another wait-and-see situation, left to incoming Mayor LaToya Cantrell and the new City Council.
Landrieu’s "60 Minutes" appearance and his announcement of plans for the sites were come days before he begins a tour to promote his new book, “In the Shadow of Statues: A White Southerner Confronts History.” The book will be released March 20.
The official book launch will be March 21 in Brooklyn, New York, and include a discussion between Landrieu and writer Jelani Cobb, who profiled the mayor recently in The New Yorker.
Following that will be talks and signings March 26 in Atlanta, March 28 in Philadelphia and March 29 in Washington, D.C.
No local signing dates have been announced.
Aside from the monument removal, Landrieu’s book is his treatise on race relations in America, a wound he says has yet to heal.