The iconic statue of Theodore Roosevelt that stands in front of the American Museum of Natural History in New York City was vandalized in the early hours of Thursday morning. According to The New York Post, the crime occurred some time between 3 and 7 a.m. and someone was seen near the statue just before those hours.
The red substance was splattered on the base of the statue, which features the former president riding a horse and between an American Indian and an African man, but none of it made it to the bronze sculpture. A clean-up crew was on the scene early this morning, pressure washing the dried liquid into the storm drains.
The statue, which was erected in 1939, was the scene of a protest just a few weeks ago. TruthRevolt’s Amelia Hamilton reported:
Protesters gathered at the American Museum of Natural History in New York to demand that a statue of him be removed, because he's the latest historical figure to be considered racist. The Guardian reports that activists covered the statue of Roosevelt on horseback, which also depicts an African American and native American, before a cheering crowd of 200-plus activists who obviously didn't have to be at work.
The two groups behind the protest, NYC Stands with Standing Rock and Decolonize This Place, released a statement, claiming the statue is:
“A stark embodiment of the white supremacy that Roosevelt himself espoused and promoted. The statue is seen as an affront to all who pass it on entering the museum, but especially to African and Native Americans."
The group took a tour of the museum with ten stops that highlighted white supremacy therein. “It’s just to echo what this is, it’s really a hall of white supremacy, that’s what this is,” said Nitasha Dhillon, one of the organizers.
NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio is taking the protests of historical statues in his city and has created a committee to seek out and remove any controversial monuments, including those of Christopher Columbus. The American Museum of Natural History is also capitulating to the protests and agree that the Roosevelt statue must be addressed:
“Several factors will figure into determining the exact approach. The Museum is conducting its own research and development process, but the decision on how to address the statue is not solely in the Museum’s control.
“The statue sits on New York City park land and as such is owned and managed by the City. This summer, the City created a commission to review statues and monuments on public land, and we expect the Roosevelt statue to be considered in that process.”
Despite the fact that Roosevelt was the first president to dine with a black man inside the White House, Booker T. Washington — a positive step for race relations, indeed — his other comments about the white and black races proves he’s too controversial to enter anyone’s mind. And therefore, he must go.