Yesterday (updated today) The U.K. Daily Mail posted an article about the American Museum of Natural History’s decision to remove the statue of Teddy Roosevelt that stands in front of the museum.
The article reports:
The American Museum of Natural History will remove a prominent statue of Theodore Roosevelt from its entrance after years of objections that it symbolizes colonial expansion and racial discrimination, Mayor Bill de Blasio said Sunday.
The bronze statue that has stood at the museum’s Central Park West entrance since 1940 depicts Roosevelt on horseback with a Native American man and an African man standing next to the horse.
‘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,’ de Blasio said in a written statement.
The article also includes the following information:
Theodore Roosevelt was the 26th president of the United States from 1901 to 1909.
The Republican, whose face is depicted on Mount Rushmore alongside George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and Abraham Lincoln, is credited with laying the groundwork for the modern Democratic party.
His progressive policies levelled the playing field between rich and poor, and this mantle would be carried forward in the modern liberalism of his cousin, Franklin D. Roosevelt’s presidency.
Teddy Roosevelt called himself a ‘new nationalist,’ and believed strongly in egalitarianism.
The equestrian statue of the 33rd governor of New York outside the American Museum of Natural History was erected in 1939.
Roosevelt had developed a ‘cowboy’ image and that of a brave, masculine warrior during his presidency.
He was a great conservationist, setting up America’s first National Parks, and also a foreign policy interventionist who proudly built up the US Navy with the Great White Fleet.
It is through this context that we can see Roosevelt depicted as the bold colonialist explorer, guided through the wilderness by one figure representing Native America and the other, Africa.
Museum president Ellen V. Futter calls this a ‘hierarchical composition.’
Theodore Roosevelt IV, a great-grandson of the president and museum trustee, claims: ‘The composition of the Equestrian Statue does not reflect Theodore Roosevelt’s legacy. It is time to move the statue and move forward.’
It is ironic that the thought police are removing someone who agrees with about 99 percent of their policies. I guess in order to remain standing as a statue, you have to agree 100 percent.