My son’s school is racially diverse, but it still bears the last name of Robert Mills Lusher, a fierce segregationist who championed education as a means for maintaining white dominance. I enjoy art markets and crawfish boils at a park named for Benjamin Palmer, a Presbyterian minister who on Thanksgiving in 1860 preached that it was the South’s holy duty to protect and extend slavery.Read the whole thing.
Over time, these tributes to white supremacy become just part of the landscape. “I never even notice them,” white friends have told me, and often I could say the same. As I drive these streets, I am reminded of the observations of Chuck Berry, who celebrated the city in his songs but shrewdly wrote in his autobiography that in New Orleans “segregation was practiced in a more polite manner, with some strategy.”