New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu

New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu made headlines when he decided to tear down four Confederate monuments in the city of New Orleans, and he joined Salon’s Amanda Marcotte to explain why he’s making race a piece of his legacy. “This has been part of my life since the day that I was born, as race has for all of us, not only in the South but in the rest of America," Landrieu said on "Salon Talks." "We still haven’t grappled completely with it because we tend to evade it because we’re uncomfortable talking about it."

The mayor, who is also president of the U.S. Conference of Mayors, just released a book, "In the Shadow of Statues: A White Southerner Confronts History,” about his decision to remove the monuments. Landrieu says he began thinking about taking the Confederate relics down while the city was rebuilding from Hurricane Katrina and thinking about what its future would look like.

Walking by the statues made Landrieu feel “ashamed,” he shared. “In a city in 2018 with 60 percent African American, that just doesn’t work. That doesn’t make any sense.” Watch the interview above to learn more about how Landrieu handled negative reactions from white Southerners and how he plans to celebrate New Orleans’ upcoming 300-year anniversary.

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