New York City officials on the Public Design Commission unanimously voted on Monday to remove a longstanding statue of Thomas Jefferson after black and Hispanic council members complained that the Founding Father’s slaveholder status permanently emblazoned in their City Hall chamber served as “a constant reminder of the injustices that have plagued communities of color since the inception of our country.”
According to The New York Times, the 7-foot-tall Jefferson statue that towered over the City Council’s chamber for more than 100 years as a “testament to his role as one of the nation’s founding fathers and the primary author of the Declaration of Independence” will now be removed after months of attempts by the council’s Black, Latino, and Asian Caucus to see it relocated.
“Jefferson embodies some of the most shameful parts of our country’s history,” Adrienne Adams, a councilwoman from Queens and co-chair of the caucus, said shortly before the commission voted.
Originally, the statue was scheduled to be relinquished to the New-York Historical Society, which was going to “contextualize” Jefferson’s history as a Founding Father with his track record on slavery, but the commission’s decision on the statue’s fate was ultimately delayed.
Nearly 20 historians sent a letter to the council suggesting that Jefferson’s presence in America’s founding should not be erased from City Hall but merely relocated to its original home in the governor’s room.
The New York Daily News editorial board also published an article outlining the “consequences of removing a Thomas Jefferson statue from City Hall” and naively questioning where the buck on statue removal stops.
“If a statue of Jefferson is unfit for City Hall, so is the statue of George Washington, owner of 577 human beings. And if we accept the principle that it is a moral mistake to put two of the most influential early Americans on pedestals there, we should remove Washington from the former site of Federal Hall downtown. Rename Washington Heights and Washington Square. And if slaveholder-founders are unfit for honors in America’s largest city, what are we doing naming the nation’s capital, and dozens of cities and counties and streets and parks, after them?” the article concluded.
It’s a question that Former President Donald Trump predicted the answer to when he said in 2017 that former presidents and Founding Fathers would soon join the ranks of Confederate statues that were being forcibly removed and destroyed by angry leftists. Trump was “roundly mocked and derided” by corporate media such as The New York Times for his opinion, but when rioters took to the streets in 2020 calling for every physical pillar of systemic racism to be removed, even history’s “good guys” such as Ulysses S. Grant were not spared.
As The Federalist’s John Daniel Davidson pointed out during the summer of rage, the left makes no distinction when it comes to revising history:
“Let’s be clear, the mobs pulling down statues make no distinction between Confederate and Union, slave-trader or abolitionist, secessionist or pro-Union,” Davidson said. “They make no distinction between American, Spanish, or Cherokee. They do not care if the monument was erected in the nineteenth century or the twenty-first.”