A bronze statue of former US President Theodore Roosevelt is to be removed amid an ongoing backlash against symbols of racial bias and imperialism.
There has been an increasingly large pressure for statues of slave-owners and symbols of racial inequality to be taken down. A statue of Christopher Columbus in Boston was beheaded. Another one in Richmond was toppled and thrown in a lake. Protesters across America, and even countries abroad, have toppled statues associated with slavery
The statue outside the American Museum of Natural History in New York shows Roosevelt on horseback flanked by a Native American man and an African man. The statue would likely not be removed if it were of just Theodore. The problem with the statue is that it explicitly depicts Black and indigenous people as racially inferior to him. A great-grandson of the former president, Theodore Roosevelt IV, told the New York Times: “The composition of the equestrian statue does not reflect Theodore Roosevelt’s legacy. It is time to move the statue and move forward.”
Trump, however, does not agree with the decision.
Mayor Bill de Blasio said on Sunday: “The museum has asked to remove the Theodore Roosevelt statue because it explicitly depicts black and indigenous people as subjugated and racially inferior.” He said he backed the decision, adding it was “the right time to remove this problematic statue”.