Amid the ongoing controversy surrounding the presence of "racist" statues, the American Museum of Natural History has come forward to announce the removal of one of their most prolific monuments.
Keep scrolling for the full story...
2020 is the year of change.
via: Getty ImagesThe Black Lives Matter movement is more prominent than ever before as people finally take a stand against the blatant racism occurring all over the world.
But recently, the most popular method of getting the message across has been stirring up an awful lot of controversy.
via: GettyThroughout the last couple of weeks, the vandalism and destruction of statues of historic figures with questionably racist roots has become the favorite method of communication for protestors.
Tearing down the statues of slave traders and other controversial figures is the latest trend of 2020.
Historic scenes in Bristol as protesters kneel on the neck of the toppled statue of Edward Colston for eight minute… https://t.co/p7VVmxHW7n— Martin Booth (@Martin Booth)1591539194.0
Colston was a slave trader.
The moment a statue of slave trader Edward Colston toppled into Bristol’s harbour. ‘It’s what he deserves. I’ve bee… https://t.co/xzJLp90l6r— Sarah Turnnidge (@Sarah Turnnidge)1591542295.0
And then, a statue of former Prime Minister, Winston Churchill, became the next victim to vandalism.
via: GettyDespite Churchill being celebrated for the role he played in carrying his country through World War Two, his history with racism is incredibly problematic, and he is credited for the death of millions of Kenyans and Indians.
And then, the trend reached the United States.
via: Getty ImagesA statue of Christopher Columbus in Virginia was suddenly torn down and defaced - the monument was ninety-three years old and had been standing there to commemorate the Italian explorer.
Controversy has surrounded Columbus' name for many years now...
via: TwitterHis transatlantic voyages unlocked an entire continent for European colonization and turned the Italian explorer into a modern symbol of conquest and violence for native Americans.
It didn't take long for the protesters to completely dislodge the statue...
via: GettyAnd this is when things turned ugly.
The statue was set on fire and covered in graffiti...
via: Getty ImagesAnd protesters then dumped it in Richmond's Fountain lake as a final demand for justice.
And, in Portland, George Washington was ripped from his stand and set on fire.
Protesters in Virginia tore down a statue of Christopher Columbus, setting it on fire and throwing it into a lake.… https://t.co/jbzu9TlMjs— AJ+ (@AJ+)1591791136.0
The majority of people online have spoken in favor of this movement...And many believe that all statues of anyone affiliated with slavery and racism in any form should be torn down permanently.
But others haven't been too impressed.
ANTIFA have now vandalized and tore down a statue of George Washington. This is not about racism. This is about d… https://t.co/HOIsiH94xp— PeterSweden (@PeterSweden)1592577579.0
Some have even labelled it as a "war on Western civilization."
Statues of Jefferson Davis, Gen. Lee, Columbus, Washington, Jefferson, Francis Scott Key, Gen. Grant and Saint Juni… https://t.co/hWpgQJrrXF— Steve King (@Steve King)1592746491.0
Anyway, the debate rages on.
via: GettyBut the most recent move in the world of problematic statues has created a whole new discussion altogether.
The American Museum of Natural History has decided to remove a prominent statue of theirs...
via: Getty ImagesAnd people are seriously divided.
Their statue of Theodore Roosevelt has been standing there since 1940...
via: Getty ImagesAnd they have now made the decision to finally bring it down. The monument shows Roosevelt on horseback while a Native American and an African man stand by his side. Ellen Futter, the museum's president said this: "[The] community has been profoundly moved by the ever-widening movement for racial justice that has emerged after the killing of George Floyd."
via: Getty"We have watched as the attention of the world and the country has increasingly turned to statues as powerful and hurtful symbols of systemic racism," Futter told the New York Times. "Simply put, the time has come to move it."
But who exactly was Theodore Roosevelt?
via: GettyRoosevelt was an American statesman, politician, conservationist, and writer who served as the 26th president of the United States from 1901 to 1909.
Yet, despite the good he did for this country, Roosevelt has long been considered as a symbol for racism.
via: GettyLast year, an op-ed was published by Clay Risen, who wrote that racism was “central to Roosevelt’s vision for America, and not just an artifact of his time and place". Historians also believe that Roosevelt was a supporter of eugenics, so much so that in 1905, he gave a speech where he attempted to push the narrative of the purported threats of “race suicide".
So, amid the current climate...
via: GettyIt seems only right that the museum brings down the statue once and for all.
Now, the Mayor of New York wholly supports the idea to remove the statue and the racist ideology it represents.
via: Getty ImagesIn a statement, he described why this was a move in the right direction saying: "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."