News & Politics

Thomas Jefferson Statue Removed From NYC Council Chambers

AP Photo/Ted Shaffrey

A statue of Thomas Jefferson had stood in the chambers of the New York City council for 187 years. But a mayoral commission formed by Mayor Bill de Blasio determined that because America’s third president and author of the Declaration of Independence owned slaves, he should be banished to the New York Historical Society — the only group who cares enough about history to keep him.

The statue was treated with a lot more care and reverence than the mayoral commission treated Mr. Jefferson’s memory.

New York Post:

Art handlers packed up an 884-pound statue of Jefferson in a wooden crate Monday after a mayoral commission voted to banish the likeness of the nation’s third president from City Hall, where it’s resided for nearly two centuries — because he owned slaves.

About a dozen workers with Marshall Fine Arts spent several hours carefully removing the painted plaster monument from its pedestal inside the City Council chambers and surrounding it with sections of foam and wooden boards.

They then lowered the massive structure down the stairs leading to the building’s first-floor rotunda with a pulley system and ushered the Founding Father out the back door.

At least they removed Jefferson in broad daylight. The Columbus statue in Chicago wasn’t quite as lucky. They snuck him out in the middle of the night.

This not only does a disservice to history, but it’s also a monumental failure of the left to take into account the full range of opinions about our past.

Recommended: Christopher Columbus’s Forgotten Crusade Against Jihad

News flash: Not everyone agrees with you, leftist radicals.

“Removing a monument without a public conversation about why it’s happening is useless. New Yorkers all need to talk about who we want to honor and why,” said Erin Thompson, a professor at John Jay College of Criminal Justice who authored the forthcoming book “Smashing Statues: The Rise and Fall of America’s Public Monuments.”

Thompson said the removal could spark a broader understanding of history.

“Moving this statue doesn’t mean New Yorkers will forget who Thomas Jefferson was — but some of them might learn from the controversy that the man who wrote ‘all men are created equal’ owned over 600 of his fellow humans,” Thompson said.

Moving the statue shows the towering ignorance of those in favor of the move. Are we to judge all our historical figures by their faults and not their accomplishments?

Shall we try that with Martin Luther King? Or Malcolm X? Historical figures must be judged in their totality as human beings: flawed, weak, heroic, courageous, etc. The notion that we can look at a man like Thomas Jefferson as a one-dimensional stick figure is childish and ignorant.

It’s very possible that after a while, reason and logic will reassert themselves and the adults will be put back in charge of caring for our history. Until then, the barbarians will be allowed to run wild and erase our past.