NEW ORLEANS – On Monday, October 12, during a court hearing in Lafayette, Louisiana, Move the Mindset (MTM) and community members will call on the 15th Judicial District Court to nullify a permanent injunction which prevents the removal of a Jim Crow statue honoring Confederate Gen. Alfred Mouton located on public property. The Executive and Legislative branches of Lafayette’s government have already consented to the removal of the statue from public property. The Judicial branch of government is the final voice to speak on the issue.
For 98 years, the statue in front of the courthouse has served as a living symbol of white supremacy, erected to promote the same anti-Black vigilante violence encouraged by Confederate Gen. Alfred Mouton prior to and during the Civil War. Mouton helped train a local “Vigilante Committee” which was initially formed to fight crime, but the group began administering their own brand of ‘justice,’ which included whippings, lynchings, and exiling Black residents who were deemed ‘undesirables.’
The following statement is from SPLC Chief of Staff Lecia Brooks:
“These monuments do not accurately reflect our shared American experience; they are definitive reminders of the lies spun by the Confederacy and their intent to keep Black people intimidated and in chains.
“Protecting Confederate iconography that glorifies traitors to the Union is a desperate attempt to maintain the systemic anti-black racism that has existed in this country for decades. The Gen. Mouton statue is just one of hundreds erected by the United Daughters of the Confederacy, created solely to distort historical facts and defend white supremacist culture.
“The SPLC will continue to support MTM and concerned members of the Lafayette community in their fight for justice. We join them in calling on the 15th Judicial District Court to nullify this dated injunction and take the first step in allowing the removal of this Confederate symbol from public property.”
The SPLC does not support erasing history, nor the defacing and/or destruction of any historic artifact. Learn about Confederate symbols on public land in the SPLC’s “Whose Heritage?” report.
In 2018, the SPLC released an updated version of its Whose Heritage? report, identifying nearly 1,800 Confederate monuments, parks, schools, state holidays and other symbols of the Confederacy in public spaces across the South and the nation.
In Louisiana alone, 88 Confederate symbols remain on public land; 36 of those symbols are monuments. To date, at least 16 of those Confederate monuments sit on courthouse and/or government office grounds across Louisiana.