Around the nation, a glut of historical statues are finding themselves uprooted, toppled, or quietly removed…and the scope of who’s being scuttled gets larger everyday.
At first, protesters were focusing largely on statues and monuments depicting members of the Confederate States of America: The short-lived rebellion from the first half of the 1860’s, and whose symbolism has been commandeered by racists and white supremacists over the course of the last 60-some years.
Seeing just how much press these vigilante vandals were receiving, the practice of pulling down possibly offensive statues spread, and we soon saw the likenesses of Christopher Columbus and George Washington targeted as well.
Now, another US President’s visage will be vacating his post, this time from the American Museum of Natural History.
A prominent statue of Theodore Roosevelt will be removed from the entrance of The American Museum of Natural History in New York City after years of objections that it symbolizes colonial expansion and racial discrimination, officials including Mayor Bill de Blasio announced.
The issue is not Roosevelt himself, however, but the men that he is accompanied by on the pedestal.
The bronze statue that has stood at the museum’s Central Park West entrance since 1940, as the New York Times reported, depicted Roosevelt on horseback with a Native American man and an African man standing next to the horse.
“The American Museum of Natural History has asked to remove the Theodore Roosevelt statue because it explicitly depicts Black and Indigenous people as subjugated and racially inferior,” de Blasio announced Sunday in a written statement. “It is the right decision and the right time to remove this problematic statue.”
Ironically, many who have promoted the removal of these statues over the course of the last few weeks have suggested that they be housed at museums, rather than in public spaces. With Roosevelt’s roost at the American Museum of Natural History now ready for removal, there’s no telling where this crusade will go.
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