As Americans continue to march in the streets, demanding justice for George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and others, the overall message of these demonstrations is broadening mightily.
At first, these protests were focused on police brutality, and the inequality that seems to exist within some of the nation’s systemic institutions. George Floyd’s death at the hands of Minneapolis police officers was the flashpoint, thanks in no small part to the grim video evidence that existed of the incident that led to his death.
Now, however, many involved in the demonstrations are digging deeper, and then deeper still, to root out what they feel are racist holdovers from American and world history.
This has put a number of formerly vaunted historical figures in the crosshairs…including George Washington.
A statue of George Washington was pulled down by protesters on Thursday night, which was Juneteenth eve, reports CBS Portland affiliate KOIN-TV. The nation’s first president owned slaves.
KOIN said Thursday marked the 21st day of demonstrations for racial justice and police reform sparked by the death of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police. Two groups — Rose City Justice and Lavender Caucus — hosted a sit-in rally at Jefferson High School in the evening where community members shared their experiences with racism with a crowd of a few hundred.
A separate group of about 20 people met around 10 p.m. at the site of the large bronze statue of Washington.
And toppling the statue was only the beginning.
Some wrapped the statue’s head in an American flag and lit the flag on fire.
A number of other historical figures have been similarly targeted, including Italian explorer Christopher Columbus and several members of the Confederacy of the American Civil War.
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