LA State Sen. Beth Mizell: “No Real Citizen” Wanted White Supremacist Monuments Torn Down

Commentary.

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.

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Lamar White, Jr.
Lamar White, Jr. is an award-winning writer and the publisher and founder of the Bayou Brief, Louisiana’s only statewide news and culture publication. Born and raised on the banks of the Red River in Alexandria, he is a proud product of the Louisiana public education system and a graduate of Rice University in Houston and SMU’s Dedman School of Law in Dallas. Lamar has been writing about politics and public policy in Louisiana for twenty years, beginning as a weekly youth columnist for his hometown paper, the Town Talk. After earning his undergraduate degree in English and Religious Studies, Lamar moved back to Alexandria, where he launched a popular blogsite, CenLamar, and worked for five years as the Special Assistant to the Mayor. He exposed significant problems with Louisiana’s school voucher program, which resulted in a series of other investigations and ultimately in the removal of several schools from the program. He was the last person to argue online with Andrew Breitbart. He investigated and then broke the report that U.S. Rep. Steve Scalise had once attended a white supremacist conference. He was the first to share a photograph of Bobby Jindal’s portrait in the state Capitol. He exposed U.S. Sen. Bill Cassidy’s incomplete timesheets while the then-representative moonlighted as a physician. He earned headlines in Texas after the gubernatorial campaign of Greg Abbott falsely claimed he had been exploited as a “campaign prop” by Abbott’s opponent, Wendy Davis, and after exposing U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz’s campaign for relying on online “bot farms” to counter Beto O’Rourke, and he earned headlines in Mississippi after publishing videos of U.S. Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith making bizarre comments about public hangings and voter suppression tactics which were both perceived as racist. Lamar was the recipient of the 2011 Ashley Morris Award, given to the writer who best exemplifies the spirit of New Orleans, and in 2019, he was honored as one of Gambit’s Top 40 Under 40 and as the year’s Outstanding Millennial in Journalism at the annual Millennial Awards. He has been the subject of profiles in the Washington Post, the Huffington Post, Above the Law, and the Advocate and has appeared multiple times as a guest on CNN and MSNBC. Lamar currently lives in New Orleans with his two golden retrievers, Lucy Ana and Ruby Dog.