New York City has decided to remove a statue of Thomas Jefferson, author of the Declaration of Independence and the nation’s third president, from its place of honor in the city hall. The statue has been in place since 1834.
“We’re not being revisionist. We’re not waging a war on history,” council member Inez Barron said. “We’re saying that we want to make sure that the total story is told, that there are no half-truths and that we are not perpetrating lies.”
Critics pointed to Jefferson’s views on African Americans and his ownership of slaves.
News of the removal drew pushback.
“The statue of Thomas Jefferson that is being removed from the New York City Council chambers was explicitly put up to honor the Declaration of Independence’s core contention,” said writer Charles Cooke. “The Declaration deserves to be honored, as does Jefferson for having written it.”
Others said they tried to warn that this would happen.
“I will say re: the Jefferson statue being removed in NYC that a lot of people on this site were very, very sh—y to the people who suggested this could happen, and today those people seem to have nothing to say about it happening in major cities across the country,” Alex Griswold wrote on Twitter.
Still others mocked the decision.
“You have a statue of Confederate president Jefferson Davis on the steps of your state capitol building,” said historian Kevin Levin.