November 23, 2021

"Art handlers packed up an 884-pound statue of Jefferson in a wooden crate Monday after a mayoral commission voted to banish the likeness of the nation’s third president from City Hall where its resided for nearly two centuries..."

"Keri Butler, executive director of the Public Design Commission that voted to banish the statue, at first tried to block the press from witnessing its removal. Butler relented after members of the mayor’s office and City Council intervened. The commission also attempted to vote on the statue’s removal without a public hearing on the controversial move until The Post revealed the plan. 'Removing a monument without a public conversation about why it’s happening is useless.... The original bronze statue, by sculptor Pierre-Jean David, is still on display in the Capitol Rotunda in Washington, DC. The plaster replica was gifted to City Hall by naval officer and Jefferson admirer Uriah Phillips Levy in 1834."


I'm giving this my "destruction of art" tag because I don't like tag proliferation and it's close enough, like when I used my "San Francisco" tag yesterday for a post about Walnut Creek. The Jefferson statue isn't going to be destroyed. It's not even leaving public display. It will stand in the lobby and reading room of the New York Historical Society. 

And is that even the Jefferson statue anyway? It's a plaster cast, painted to look like the bronze of the original. The original statue remains in the ultimate place of honor, the U.S. Capitol Rotunda. Is New York City taunting Congress, daring it to go after Jefferson? That doesn't really help the Democratic Party, and that's something I like. It might be something approaching principle. The fact is, Jefferson owned slaves, so why should government endorse him as a symbol of freedom? 

The worst part of what New York did was to act in darkness and shame — having a commission decide with no public hearing and attempting to ban press coverage of the removal. It was all about symbolism, so they ought to be proud of their choice and eager to proclaim the principle that drove them to break the long tradition of the plaster Jefferson in City Hall.

44 comments:

John said...

The transformation from liberal to woke is amazing. When put into positions of authority how quickly the woke move to be all the things they claim they are against.

Gahrie said...

The fact is, Jefferson owned slaves, so why should government endorse him as a symbol of freedom?

How about because he wrote the Declaration of Independence?

Wilbur said...

Erin Thompson, a professor at John Jay College of Criminal Justice .. said the removal could spark a broader understanding of history.

“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,” Thompson said.
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

Are students today taught anything about the Founders other than that they were slaveholders?

gilbar said...

tried to block the press from witnessing its removal...
..vote on the statue’s removal without a public hearing on the controversial move ...


you Know how you KNOW what you're doing is RIGHT?
When you do it in the middle of the night, wearing hoods and cloaks
NOTHING says; We are Doing What the public wants, like NOT letting the public in on it

Mr Wibble said...

Give them another five years and the left will be destroy those statues.

tds said...

this is not the last step. Soon, everybody/every organization owning statues, paintings, writings by Jefferson will be named white supremacist, and treated accordingly. FBI will put them on the watch list, install paid informers, ADL will put it into hate symbols database, etc..

similar to what's happening with the Confederate flag

tim maguire said...

Keri Butler...at first tried to block the press from witnessing its removal. [] The commission also attempted to vote on the statue’s removal without a public hearing on the controversial move

Tells you all you need to know. The commission needs to be dissolved until its charter can be rewritten to prevent such future abuses since there will always be Keri Butlers on it.

exhelodrvr1 said...

Once again, Trump was correct.

rhhardin said...

Or you might judge the other way, the reason all these great people owned slaves was that it's not immoral, and start looking into why not.

You might discover that money freed the slaves. They contribute more to society working in their own interest than working as a slave, once you have a free market and enforceable contract law. Before that, in a hit the guy on the head and take his stuff economic system that was universal, enslaving is better economically than killing.

There is, in the middle, a transition time.

Temujin said...

It's the fact that our so-called leaders in various cities, states, and Federal positions, as well as our professors, writers, and others with Large Opinions think that the most important characteristic of those who risked everything to start a nation built on the premise of individual rights, was not that they risked everything to start a free nation, but that they were imperfect humans with human flaws. Our great thinkers miss the importance of a nation build on the premise of individual rights- not collective rights. They don't get the distinction. Our founders gave us a shot at a nation based on individual rights, even as they held slaves based on collective thinking. I'd say they were very forward thinking. Much more so than any of today's collectivist pundits, who view everyone as part of some tribe.

Our founders gave us the chance to get it right. They opened the door, laid it out there. And we've come so far. But some won't let us get there. There seems to be too much money, a good living, in race hustling and race nurturing.

BTW, starting the day with "Cool Hand Luke" is a good thing.

rhhardin said...

The statue should be replaced with a statue of Kyle Rittenhouse.

tds said...

Godwin's law: as an online discussion grows longer (regardless of topic or scope), the probability of a comparison involving Nazis or Adolf Hitler approaches 1


My law: owning any white people memorabilia converges with time in official perception to literally owning Nazi memorabilia


My law's corollary: convergence is fastest when white people are male and straight


My law's second corollary: rate of convergence is proportional to the percentage of population attending colleges

Conrad said...

How long before Washington, D.C. is renamed? Will it be changed to "Floyd, D.C.?"

MountainMan said...

Jefferson also wrote this: The Deleted Passage of the Declaration of Independence

MadisonMan said...

Mayor deBlasio is the person who appointed this women to head the Commission. I think he should be facing some questions about the action of the Commission.

Jeff Vader said...

Highly confident that all minority kids will now read at or above grade level with this huge obstacle to their education removed

What's emanating from your penumbra said...

"The fact is, Jefferson owned slaves, so why should government endorse him as a symbol of freedom?"

Some of your opinions and public statements are pretty toxic, so why should your blog be allowed to exist?

Roy Jacobsen said...

exhelodrvr1 said...
Once again, Trump was correct.

And the denials and mockery from the bien pensant was near-universal, raising the question:

Are the bien pensant dumber than a bushel of spuds, liars, or both?

Wince said...

And is that even the Jefferson statue anyway? It's a plaster cast, painted to look like the bronze of the original.

Excuse me, but are we talking about a plaster cast of Jefferson's dick?

wildswan said...

Carrying away statues in the dead of night is not like confronting the NBA over its acquiescence in the Chinese abuse of the Uighurs or like confronting the media on its silence about those slave labor camps. One is hard, one is easy. Guess which one the hokey-wokeys do?

Owen said...

Savages. This reminds me somehow of Sir Thomas More's speech to his son-in-law, Roper, in "A Man For All Seasons." These people will flatten everything in their mad pursuit of "justice." And then, when the Devil turns on them --as he always does-- where will they shelter?

Andrew said...

These people (the ones responsible for removing the statue) don't add up to the fingernail on the pinky finger of Jefferson. They are petty mediocrities, who haven't contributed a fraction of a fraction of what Jefferson contributed to the world.

And what the hell is it with statues making people feel unsafe? Go see a therapist or join a support group. Or just get thicker skin (whatever color!). I'm tired of society catering to these spoiled, pathetic little children.

wendybar said...

Trump was asked whether the statue should be taken down and said: "So this week it's Robert E. Lee. I noticed that Stonewall Jackson's coming down. I wonder, is it George Washington next week? And is it Thomas Jefferson the week after? You know, you really do have to ask yourself, where does it stop?"

Once again...TRUMP WAS RIGHT. Funny, how they are taking this down, but they have erected a statue of the criminal George Floyd.

They are digging their own graves.

wendybar said...

NBC tried to fact check Trump. WRONG again as usual....
NBC News
@NBCNews
Why statues of George Washington and Thomas Jefferson aren't "next," as President Trump suggested http://nbcnews.to/2wpUFdf

wendybar said...

Molly Hemingway has receipts of ALL the Pravda media laughing at Trump for suggesting that RABID Progressives would eventually take down Jeffersons statues....https://thefederalist.com/2020/06/23/trump-was-right-in-2017-when-he-said-statue-destroyers-wouldnt-stop-with-confederate-figures/

Ceciliahere said...

Despicable bastards!

Skippy Tisdale said...

"They are digging their own graves."

History shows that a government can shit on its people only so long before the people start asking, "Where is all of this shit coming from?"

J Melcher said...

Wait until they come for the statue of Mary Tyler Moore throwing her hat...

Joe Smith said...

So Trump was right?

hombre said...

“The fact is, Jefferson owned slaves, so why should government endorse him as a symbol of freedom?“

Hypocrisy erases greatness, right? This because there are no hypocrites among the icons of the left, including the black left. Bwahahahaha.

I would name names, but frankly I can’t think of any of those icons who are not hypocrites. BTW, Jefferson IS a symbol of freedom — a declaration of freedom from which even the most strident African-American ingrates have benefited.

daskol said...

The TR statue removed form the Natural History Museum has been relocated to South Dakota.

Michelle Dulak Thomson said...

Ann,

That doesn't really help the Democratic Party, and that's something I like.

Wait. Do you mean that you do like helping the Democratic Party, or that you don't? Ambiguous!

Critter said...

These are your betters, making decisions behind closed doors and taking away a statue of the author of the freedoms that they enjoy in the dark of night. I have little doubt that these same people would have been Royalists. Disgusting group of people.

n.n said...

A model of South Africa: Xhosa vs Zulu and apartheid.

That said, the original compromise, corrected. His Pro-Life stance is deplorable.

Ceciliahere said...

Despicable bastards!

Greg The Class Traitor said...

The worst part of what New York did was to act in darkness and shame — having a commission decide with no public hearing and attempting to ban press coverage of the removal. It was all about symbolism, so they ought to be proud of their choice and eager to proclaim the principle that drove them to break the long tradition of the plaster Jefferson in City Hall.

Except they "principle" is "we hate America." And while they're not willing to give that up, even they are aware it's not a winning slogan.

You know, that video will feature in trump campaign ads: Start with Trump saying "next thing you know they're be getting rid of Jefferson and Washington", followed by film of Democrats doing it.

Greg The Class Traitor said...

The fact is, Jefferson owned slaves, so why should government endorse him as a symbol of freedom?

The fact is, that 99.999% of black slaves brought to America were sold into slavery by their fellow blacks.

The fact is, that the first slaveholder in the American colonies was a black male.

The fact is, that every single black American has a slave owning ancestor somewhere in the last 500 years.

The fact is, there does not exist a single perfect human being under the sun. What this is about is destroying American history because you despicable losers hate America. Everything else is just excuses

Michael said...

They were made to feel uneasy by a statue. Adults. Uncomfortable around a statue. Think about that. Were they too afraid three or four years ago to speak up about the horror and discomfort they felt whenever they saw that statue. Or did it take the accidental killing of a black thug drug addict to awaken their vocal cords. It is just bullshit bullying. Make the white people cross the street when you walk down the sidewalk. Payback of a kind. Stupid but there it is.

Chris Lopes said...

The Founders (including Jefferson) weren't stupid. They fully understood the contradictions between what they professed to believe and "that peculiar institution." For them, it was a matter of bowing to the economic and social realities of the time. They were trying to forge a new nation, so they left the question of slavery to other generations to answer. It was a deal with the devil to be sure, but it was also the only deal they were likely to get.

In the end, America paid the price for that deal. The butcher's bill at the end of the Civil War and afterwards was seen by religious abolitionists as God's punishment for slavery. It'd be hard to argue such punishment wasn't deserved.

My point is that the Founders did the best they could given the world they lived in. It would have been great if they'd have been able to overcome the evils of their time (and their own economic self interests) and ended slavery, but that wasn't feasible. Instead, they provided the philosophical and legal framework for others to be able to do it. History is made by men and women, not saints.

Michael said...

Now I’m thinking about the JEFFERSON memorial in DC. They take little children in buses to see that. Isn’t that as wrong as you can get? What does Mrs DeBlasio think of that structure, that celebration of the racist slave owner and slave fucker? I think George Floyd would look good in that seat, a real black hero, a real symbol of justice and equity and inclusion. A man for the moment, for all time.

Gahrie said...

Jefferson also wrote this: The Deleted Passage of the Declaration of Independence

I actually cover this when I teach Government. In my US History classes I teach them the truth about the Emancipation Proclamation (A total scam. Lincoln freed the slaves he couldn't free, and kept the slaves he could set free in slavery) and the corrupt bargain of 1976.

Greg The Class Traitor said...

What was "the corrupt bargain of 1976"?

Drago said...

Greg The Class Traitor: "What was "the corrupt bargain of 1976"?"

The establishment republican consultant class convinced Gerald Ford that "WIN!" (Whip Inflation Now!) was a surefire strategy to hold off Carter but was, instead, a way to neutralize a weak, unelected chief executive milquetoast republican in order to pave the way for their dem pals.

I might be taking some liberties with that assessment.

glacial erratic said...

"The original statue remains in the ultimate place of honor..."

For now.