Thomas Jefferson Statue Removed From New York City Hall, Where It Stood For 187 Years


A statue of Thomas Jefferson was removed from NYC City Hall on Tuesday. The city’s Public Design Commission voted unanimously to remove the statue in a vote earlier this month. The Jefferson statue had been displayed in the building for 187 years.

The commission, which was comprised of mayoral appointees, approved the statue’s removal to the private museum. Those in favor of the statue’s removal took issue with Jefferson having been a slave owner. Members of the council’s Black, Latino and Asian Caucus demanded after the vote that the statue be moved by the body’s next meeting on Nov. 23, which it ultimately was.

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“Each day it is allowed to linger there serves as a reminder to our members of the horrors perpetrated against Blacks and Indigenous Peoples by revered figures – like Jefferson – who were instrumental in America’s creation, but also known practitioners of slavery that espoused white supremacist belief,” the caucus said in a statement.

“Moving this statue doesn’t mean New Yorkers will forget who Thomas Jefferson was — but some of them might learn from the controversy that the man who wrote ‘all men are created equal’ owned over 600 of his fellow humans,” said Erin Thompson, a professor at John Jay College of Criminal Justice. Others were opposed to the move, including Staten Island Republican Councilman Joe Borelli. “This is a vote to sideline history,” Borelli told the New York Post.

President Trump predicted that statues of founders would be removed during the infamous Charlottesville press conference, which was the same press conference that gave birth to the “very fine people” lie. “Was George Washington a slave owner? So Will George Washington now lose his status?” Trump asked. “What about Thomas Jefferson, what do you think of Thomas Jefferson, you like him?” he then asked Jim Acosta of CNN.

Acosta replied in the affirmative, prompting Trump to say “Ok good, are we gonna take down the statue? Because he was a major slave owner….. you’re changing history, you’re changing culture.

Trump’s comments were mocked by journalists and leftists alike, who argued that the debate was simply over the removal of confederate statues. Trump’s prediction was mocked as a ridiculous hypothetical that would never happen by mainstream journalists, including alleged comedian John Oliver.