This founder’s no keeper as far as these New York City Council members are concerned.
A group of Big Apple local elected officials on Thursday formally asked Mayor Bill de Blasio to remove the statue of Thomas Jefferson from City Hall as the fallout from the George Floyd killing continued to mount.
“His words are ‘all men are created equal,’ but they are not matched by his actions, which include the ability to sell, buy, mortgage and lease human beings,” Councilwoman Debi Rose (D-Staten Island) said of the Founding Father. who authored the Declaration of Independence.
“He believed black people to be racially inferior, saying black and white Americans could not live peacefully side by side and he fathered as many children as he enslaved,” added Rose, who along with Council Speaker Corey Johnson was one. of five members to sign the demand.
“I believe the New York City Council should neither ignore nor glorify this dark side of American history.”
The Council sent a letter to de Blasio requesting the change, said Johnson.
However, City Hall’s historic status means any changes must eventually be approved by de Blasio and the Public Design Commission, Johnson added.
The latest example of how America is reexamining its view of major historical figures who took part in slave holding, the Confederacy and segregation following Floyd’s police-custody killing by Minneapolis police officers.
One of the pairs was captured on a kneeling tape on Floyd’s neck for nearly nine minutes as the African American man cried out that he couldn’t breathe.
The video of the arrests quickly spread across the country and provided new momentum for the effort to move Jefferson’s statue out of City Hall, which dates back two decades and was originally led by now-Assemblyman Charles Barron (D-Brooklyn).
A spokeswoman for de Blasio said they were reviewing the request.