Saturday June 17th the Southern Poverty Law Center announced that the Jim Crow-era statue erected to celebrate Gen. Alfred Mouton was removed from the downtown Lafayette courthouse. In 1980, outgoing Mayor Kenny Bowen wanted to move the statue to what was then the new Lafayette City Hall, but the United Daughters of the Confederacy gave the statue to the city in 1922, but the group fought the move, partly because Mouton’s father once had owned the statue’s site. The General Organization of the United Daughters of the Confederacy was founded in Nashville, Tennessee, on September 10, 1894, by Mrs. Caroline Meriwether Goodlett of Tennessee as Founder and Mrs. Lucian H. (Anna Davenport) Raines of Georgia as Co- Founder.
If you’re curious, Jim Crow laws were state and local laws that enforced racial segregation in the Southern United States and elsewhere within the United States. Although the statues are coming down in the 2,000’s it’s kind of a joke if remnants of Jim Crow laws still exist on the books, but now we call them something else. It’s called mass incarcerations, it’s remnants of slave catchers, titled law enforcement.
In recent years, machine learning and artificial intelligence have gained popularity in reconstructing historical racisms and hate towards people of color. Check out Ruha Benjamin the sociologist and Professor in the Department of African American Studies at Princeton University. The primary focus of her work is the relationship between innovation and equity is focusing on the intersection of race, justice and technology.