NYC Council BLAC Caucus: Thomas Jefferson Statue Must Go

New York City Council's Black, Latino and Asian Caucus on the pending removal of the Thomas Jefferson statue
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Photos: Twitter

The following is a statement from the New York City Council's Black, Latino and Asian Caucus (BLAC) on the pending removal of the Thomas Jefferson statue located in the Council Chambers at City Hall:

"The Public Design Commission’s forthcoming vote to relocate the Thomas Jefferson statue in City Hall’s Council Chambers has been years in the making. Members of the Black, Latino and Asian Caucus – beginning with Charles Barron – have long objected to the statue’s presence, and did so most recently in a June 2020 letter that was sent by the Council to Mayor de Blasio.

"Though our position was ridiculed at the time by some in the media, the U.S. House of Representatives voted that same month to remove statues of Confederate figures and other known white supremacists from display at the Capitol, and a direct descendant of Thomas Jefferson and his concubine Sally Hemmings wrote a widely publicized op-ed in which he called for the replacement of the Thomas Jefferson National Memorial in Washington D.C. with one honoring Harriet Tubman, characterizing the proposal as, 'not erasing history…[but] telling the real history of America.'”

"That history includes acknowledging the fact that this Founding Father held dominion over 600 African slaves, and likened the notion of their freedom from captivity to, 'abandoning children.' Our Caucus has stood at the forefront of local efforts to ensure that the real history of America – whether reflected in words or symbols – is truly genuine to all those who lived it.

"This Administration owes it to the more than five million New Yorkers of color our members – past, present and future – represent to resolve that the individuals memorialized within the confines of our People’s House be reflective not only of the best traditions of our city’s history and its diversity but unquestionable character."

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