We’ve reached the point in history where New York City council members have voted to remove a Thomas Jefferson statue from the council chamber at City Hall after it had stood there for more than 100 years. The statue scrappers on city council voted unanimously Monday to remove the statue, but a decision on where to move it to has been delayed, the New York Times reported.
“I don’t think it should go anywhere. I don’t think it should exist,” NYC Assemblyman Charles Barron, a former councilman said at Monday’s hearing. “I think it should be put in storage or destroyed or whatever.”
According to the Times, the statue was commissioned in 1833 by Uriah P. Levy, who was the first Jewish commodore in the United States Navy. The statue arrived at City Hall in 1834 and was moved into the council’s chamber in the 1910s.
The only person–living or dead–qualified to be present in the NYC council chamber.
An unelected city commission says "No". pic.twitter.com/W1H8h8kRdr
— MerelyRight (@MerelyRight) October 19, 2021
The statue scrappers were weaponized in 2017 when Mayor Bill de Blasio announced that the city would do a review of “all symbols of hate on city property” after Charlottesville erupted in violence as factions battled over the removal of a Robert E. Lee statue that same year.
As for what will happen to the Jefferson statue, Fox News reports that de Blasio has tasked his wife, Chirlane McCray, who’s in charge of NYC’s Commission on Racial Justice and Reconciliation, with what should be done with the sculpture.
In 2017, as de Blasio announced his war on statues, then-President Donald Trump predicted what happened Monday.
“George Washington was a slave owner,” Trump said during a press conference. “Was George Washington a slave owner? So, will George Washington now lose his statues? Are we going to take down statues to George Washington? How about Thomas Jefferson? What do you think of Thomas Jefferson, do you like him? Are we going to take down the statue? Because he was a major slave owner. Now are we going to take down his statue?”
And Monday it happened. Well, not officially. Mayor de Blasio’s wife will have to decide what to do with it first.
Meanwhile, a statue of George Floyd remains in Union Square in Manhattan.
“George Floyd’s legacy is truly monumental — and I’m not just using that as a figure of speech,” NYC councilwoman Farah Louis said in June at the unveiling of the Floyd monument. “His death changed our country. It forced us to see what we had been blind to for many years. It forced America to confront its painful legacy of systemic racism and police brutality,” she said.
That’s right, Floyd’s legacy is monumental. We’re talking about a career criminal who pleaded guilty in 2009, and sentenced to five years in prison, for pushing a pistol into the abdomen of a woman before going to town trying to figure out what to steal out of her residence.
“This large suspect then proceeded to search the residence while another armed suspect guarded the complainant, who was struck in the head and side areas by this second armed suspect with his pistol after she screamed for help,” the arrest report reads. “As the suspects looked through the residence, they demanded to know where the drugs and money were and Complaint Henriquez advised them that there were no such things in the residence. The suspects then took some jewelry along with the complainant’s cell phone before they fled the scene in the black Ford Explorer.”
So this guy dies at the hands of a hellbent, off-the-rails police officer and that means his legacy is “monumental.”
Uh huh. Right.
You’re not dreaming. This world has lost its damn mind.
View of Union Square with statues of George Floyd, Rep. John Lewis, and Breonna Taylor on display pic.twitter.com/oAyE02lWHB
— Eddie Amador (@eddieamador) October 11, 2021