New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio (D) announced this weekend that the famed Theodore Roosevelt statue in front of the American Museum of Natural History in New York City will be removed because, according to museum President Ellen Futter, it is one of many “powerful and hurtful symbols of systemic racism.”
“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 told NPR 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.”
The Roosevelt statue is just the latest in a series of historic monuments that have been torn down, vandalized, or otherwise removed amid protests following the death of George Floyd last month in Minneapolis. These include statues of Ulysses S. Grant, Francis Scott Key, Christopher Columbus, and even America’s first president, George Washington.
On the radio program Monday, Glenn Beck argued that America will not survive if we lose our history.
“We cannot get rid of our history, good and bad, it must stand. You are robbing people of the opportunity to understand how nuanced people are. They’re not all good. They’re not all bad … [they’re ] both. Both! We all are,” Glenn said.
“[T]hey tore down the statue of George Washington in Portland. Without George Washington, there would be no United States. There would be no Constitution, which allows the freedom of speech, assembly, and protest, as well as the separation of church and state. And without Washington, we would not have a civilian-led military,” he continued. “If we lose Washington, Jefferson, Franklin, Theodore Roosevelt, Abraham Lincoln, if we lose these people, we’re done … we can’t lose our history. And that’s all they care about. They say these are offensive, and they’re oppressive. I’ve never been oppressed by a statue of anyone.”
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