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New Orleans Mayor Gets JFK Courage Award For Removing Confederate Statues

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Rob Shimshock Education Reporter

The John F. Kennedy Library Foundation announced Tuesday that the mayor of New Orleans will receive its annual courage award for taking down the city’s four Confederate monuments in 2017.

Kennedy’s grandson, Jack Schlossberg, will present New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu with the foundation’s 2018 John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage Award for his removal of the statues, reported The Boston Globe.

“Mayor Landrieu turned a difficult and divisive issue into an opportunity to reflect on our nation’s history and to recommit ourselves to our founding principles of equality and justice,” Schlossberg said in a comment obtained by the Globe. “The mayor explained what the monuments represent — a dark chapter in our history that should neither be forgotten, misunderstood, nor glorified.”

“In a year marked by continued racial injustice, in a moment of misguided national leadership and heightened division, Mayor Landrieu’s courage stands out brightly as an affirmative step in the right direction,” Kennedy’s grandson continued. “President Kennedy believed that, at its best, politics was a noble profession — Mayor Landrieu is living proof of that bold proposition.”

Landrieu removed New Orleans’ monuments of Confederate generals Robert E. Lee and P.G.T. Beauregard, Confederate president Jefferson Davis, and a memorial commemorating the Battle of Liberty Place insurrection against the New Orleans government. The mayor sometimes uprooted the statues under the cover of darkness. (RELATED: New Orleans Uproots Third Confederate Statue In Early Morning Operation)

“This is not about politics. This is not about blame or retaliation,” Landrieu said upon taking down the fourth monument. “This is not a naive quest to solve all our problems at once. This is, however, about showing the whole world that we as a city and as a people are able to acknowledge, understand, reconcile, and, most important, choose a better future for ourselves, making straight what has been crooked and making right what was wrong.”

The Daily Caller News Foundation reached out for comment from Landrieu but received none in time for press.

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