NY Officials Vote to Scrap City Hall's Thomas Jefferson Statue

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Posted: Oct 19, 2021 12:15 PM
NY Officials Vote to Scrap City Hall's Thomas Jefferson Statue

Source: AP Photo/Mary Altaffer

A statue of Thomas Jefferson that has watched over the New York City Council in its chambers for more than a century will be removed after city leaders voted unanimously to get rid of the monument. 

The vote means that the likeness of America's third president — one that's been in city council chambers since 1915 — will be relocated by the New York Historical Society to a museum where more "context" can be added to the display. 

According to members of the council's Black, Latino, and Asian Caucus who'd pushed for the statue's removal, Jefferson's presence in the chamber was "a constant reminder of the injustices that have plagued communities of color since the inception of our country."

For these social justice warriors, statues of the men who created our revolutionary system of government are "disturbing images" and erasing their visages is the "right step" to take.

For his part, Democrat Mayor Bill de Blasio refused to defend the statue in the days before the vote and said he assumed that the statue would be removed by officials. 

Rep. Nicole Malliotakis — a Republican who represents portions of New York City — called out New York's leaders for trying to remove not just the likeness of Jefferson from City Hall, but seeking to remove his values from city government.

The warning from Rep. Malliotakis follows a prescient prediction from then-President Donald Trump in 2017 who warned the left's erasure of history would not stop when the mob got to America's founders such as Thomas Jefferson and George Washington. Trump was widely mocked by the mainstream media at the time, but the New York City Council has again proven his worry over American history was justified. 

Signe Nielsen, the individual overseeing statues and other art in properties owned by New York City added another warning in a hearing before the city council voted to remove the Jefferson statue: "There are 700 pieces of art under our jurisdiction, we cannot make a rash decision that will set a precedent for the other 699 pieces of artwork that may also have challenges from people or other groups of people."

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For the woke New York City Council, it doesn't matter that Jefferson played a pivotal role in American — and world — history, nor that his belief in universal innate equality proved to be the intellectual root of the abolition of slavery in the United States. For them, as Malliotakis pointed out, removing founders' statues is about getting rid of touchstones that might evoke ideals of liberty.

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