Columns

They Got the Wrong Roosevelt: Teddy Roosevelt Statue to Be Removed From Museum

AP Photo/Mary Altaffer, File

The American Museum of Natural History in New York City will remove a statue of Theodore Roosevelt on horseback because it symbolizes colonial expansion and racial discrimination.

And if they had mentioned Teddy’s macho persona and spurning of women’s rights, they would have been three for three.

In truth, someone should tell the barbarians they got the wrong Roosevelt. It was Franklin, not Teddy, who locked up 120,000 Japanese-Americans because they had funny looking eyes or something. So sorry. Must be because all white men look alike.

They’re coming for Andy. They’re gunning for Teddy, They’re after Jefferson, Washington, and Grant. Even the Great Emancipator himself — Abe Lincoln, who wanted to move all the freed slaves to Belize — will have his turn. No historical figure is safe if he’s a man, white, and admired by most Americans.

In the case of Theodore Roosevelt, there is much to admire. The trust-busting conservationist who enacted truly “progressive” policies doesn’t deserve this.

CBS News:

The bronze statue that has stood at the museum’s Central Park West entrance since 1940 depicts 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 said in a written statement. “The City supports the Museum’s request. It is the right decision and the right time to remove this problematic statue.”

Donald Trump was not amused, tweeting “Ridiculous, don’t do it!” last night. But the museum’s president was in a groveling mood.

The museum’s president, Ellen Futter, told The New York Times the museum’s “community has been profoundly moved by the ever-widening movement for racial justice that has emerged after the killing of George Floyd.”

“We have watched as the attention of the world and the country has increasingly turned to statues as powerful and hurtful symbols of systemic racism,” Futter told the Times.

Statues, being works of art, are symbols of whatever people want to see in them. I guess any representations of Native Americans and black people in any context that would elevate someone they disagree with needs to be canceled.

Even Roosevelt’s great-grandson has joined the history-erasing party.

“The composition of the Equestrian Statue does not reflect Theodore Roosevelt’s legacy,” Theodore Roosevelt IV, a great-grandson of the president, said in a statement to the Times. “It is time to move the statue and move forward.”

Of course it reflects his “legacy.” TR was a man of his times and had predictably wrong-headed views on race and Native Americans. Grandson Theodore is pandering to the mob, hoping they move on, leave him alone, and find another shiny toy to play with.

The museum will not entirely cancel Teddy. After all, he was one of the original greens, a true conservationist. But they will rebrand his legacy to make him more acceptable to the left.

Futter said the museum objects to the statue but not to Roosevelt, a pioneering conservationist whose father was a founding member of the institution and who served as New York’s governor before becoming the 26th president. She said the museum is naming its Hall of Biodiversity for Roosevelt “in recognition of his conservation legacy.”

Do these people really think that giving the mob what they want will satisfy them? No one is that stupid, are they?

Apparently, yes.