New York City lawmakers have proposed the removal of artwork honoring such people as George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and Christopher Columbus because of the historical figures’ controversial pasts.
The Democrat-led New York City Council’s Cultural Affairs Committee is scheduled to hold a public hearing Tuesday on a proposal to remove artworks “that depict a person who owned enslaved persons or directly benefited economically from slavery, or who participated in systemic crimes against indigenous peoples or other crimes against humanity.”
The bill would stipulate that if the Public Design Commission determines that a statue or monument honors a person who committed crimes against humanity but votes not to remove the artwork, the city would be required to install an “explanatory plaque” about the misdeeds of the historical figure.
The legislation would also require the installation of plaques on sidewalks or other public spaces adjacent to schools that are named after a person that fits the criteria.
Councilwoman Sandy Nurse, D-Brooklyn, introduced the proposed legislation, which was co-sponsored by 16 other lawmakers.
A statue of Thomas Jefferson has already been removed from City Hall because the man who drafted the Declaration of Independence and was the country’s third president was a slaveholder.
Critics have said the Cultural Affairs Committee’s wokeness is too much.
“Columbus was a migrant!’” said Columbus Heritage Coalition President Angelo Vivolo, who vowed to fight any attempt to remove monuments of the famous Italian explorer from city parkland, the New York Post reported.
Columbus, credited with discovering the new world, stands accused of brutalizing native populations during his travels.
“This is little more than an attempt by the radical left to rewrite our nation’s history,” said Joann Ariola, R-Queens, the Post reported. “These men all had an enormous impact on this country, and these statues commemorating their achievements have been in place for decades.
“The radical left has been trying to reframe our nation as one born from evil, and it is time we put our foot down and say enough is enough. The Founding Fathers and the others who worked so hard to establish this great country should be celebrated, not eliminated from memory.”
Washington, also a slave owner, is honored by more than half a dozen monuments on city property. They include statues in Washington Square Park and Union Square Park.
Early New York settler Peter Stuyvesant, a Dutch governor and a slaveholder, has a statue in Stuyvesant Park, and a prestigious high school is named after him.
Other famous slaveholders who have schools in the city named after them include John Jay (John Jay College) and DeWitt Clinton (DeWitt Clinton High School), the Post reported.
Former Mayor Bill de Blasio created an 18-member committee to look at monuments honoring famous figures to see if any should be removed because of inhumane actions.
That panel ended up removing one statue of a historical figure, controversial 1800s gynecologist Dr. J. Marion Sims.
Charlie McCarthy ✉
Charlie McCarthy, a writer/editor at Newsmax, has nearly 40 years of experience covering news, sports, and politics.
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