In an absurdly theatrical, meandering, and nearly four-minute-long web video produced by a clearly unprepared
high school debate student Louisiana State Senator, Beth Mizell (R- Franklinton) praises her fellow Republicans for never once proposing that the statue of Huey P. Long be removed from the grounds of the state Capitol, despite the fact that he was an avowed socialist, no better than Bernie Sanders. This is because, she explains, Republicans love history or at least the idea of history or at least the idea that the passage of time allows us to forget history and misremember everything that forces us to confront uncomfortable truths about our history.
There are many legitimate reasons to believe Huey P. Long was, despite the folklore, not really a very good man, but almost all of them relate to his almost dictatorial control over state government, his rampant political cronyism, and his relentless assault on the freedom of the press. Mizell doesn’t criticize Huey for that, of course, because right now… well, you know.
She attacks him for the very things that made him so enduringly popular and beloved in Louisiana, even 82 years after his assassination. His blasted socialism! His policies that forced Standard Oil to stop pillaging from our environment and pocketing the entire fortune. Charity hospitals. Road and bridge construction. Free textbooks.
You see, the Kingfish may have been a rotten socialist, but, as Mizell points out, he also wrote LSU’s fight song, and who doesn’t love that song?
Do you see where she’s headed with this line of argument? Watch the whole thing:
Mizell, who lives an hour away from New Orleans, an overwhelmingly Democratic city in which the majority of citizens are African-Americans, argues that monuments to Confederate traitors, built in support of the so-called Lost Cause movement, eventually lost all political relevance and suddenly made the city “magical.” Because history. History that no longer matters because white people like her from Washington Parish never once looked at monuments celebrating men who fought to keep black people as property and thought anything other than how pretty those lawn ornaments were.
According to Mizell, “no real citizen” wanted those statues removed, which, incidentally, is the same thing that Jefferson Davis and Robert E. Lee thought about the citizenship of African-Americans.