A man who was hired by the city of New Orleans, Louisiana to remove four Confederate statues received a message from residents loud and clear upon discovering his $200,000 2014 Lamborghini Huracan had been set on fire.
The St. George Fire Department reportedly found the luxury vehicle engulfed in flames behind owner David Mahler’s company, H&O Investments, LLC.
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The city recently announced that Mahler had been hired to remove several monuments that symbolize the Confederate history associated with slavery and racism.
"This is just a possession and can always be replaced, but someone has something to say to us," Mahler’s wife reportedly wrote on Facebook.
The New Orleans city council voted 6-1 in December to remove the statues after Mayor Mitch Landrieu proposed taking them down following the racially-motivated Charleston, South Carolina mass shooting.
"We, the people of New Orleans, have the power and we have the right to correct these historical wrongs," Landrieu said prior to the council's decision, according to The New York Times.
Three of the monuments set to be removed memorialize prominent Civil War figures, P.G.T. Beauregard, Robert E. Lee and Jefferson Davis. Another is an obelisk dedicated to the Battle of Liberty Place.
As expected, several residents opposed the council’s decision, claiming their dissent isn’t an issue of race but about preserving the city’s history — even if that means being surrounded by reminders of the racist principles the south and the U.S. as a whole were founded upon.
They may maintain that it’s not about race, but the Lamborghini fire is proof that the spirit of the racist south is alive and well as this incident is reminiscent of the many black churches and crosses that were burned during the Civil Rights era.
The car’s destruction isn’t the only harassment Mahler received since taking the job: he, his family and his employees received death threats after the city announced its partnership with his company.
Unfortunately, Mahler has now backed out of his contract with the city for the safety of his family and employees. The arsonists made an example out of Mahler and the city will undoubtedly struggle to find another contractor to take on the dangerous job.
Although it is commendable that Mahler put safety ahead of money, it’s also disheartening to see that the “bad guys” have won.
Banner and thumbnail credit: Reuters, Brian Snyder