Washington D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser on Thursday warned that a “mob” would not be deciding which statues in the city are taken down, amid a rise in
Washington D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser on Thursday warned that a “mob” would not be deciding which statues in the city are taken down, amid a rise in people across the country tearing down historic American monuments.
“This is what I think we need to do with statues…is to have a reasonable conversation on statues and other historical figures. Not have a mob decide they want to pull it down and certainly not destroy anything in the District and set it on fire,” Bowser, a Democrat, said. “So my first response to you is, we need to maintain safety and order around statues.”
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The comments come amid a swell of anger aimed at statues and monuments in the wake of the killing of George Floyd in police custody and a revival of discussion about race and America’s history.
While the initial targets were Confederate generals and figures, it has quickly spread to others including Abraham Lincoln, who signed the Emancipation Proclamation, and Thomas Jefferson, who penned the Declaration of Independence.
Over the weekend, protesters tied ropes and tried to topple a statue of former president Andrew Jackson in Lafayette Square Park, but were stopped by law enforcement.
In the Capitol Hill neighborhood, protesters have threatened to tear down a statue of Lincoln that shows the former president standing over a shackled slave and holding the Emancipation Proclamation on Thursday evening.
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Others have attempted to tear down the statue in a more orderly process. Washington, D.C.’s congressional delegate, Eleanor Holmes Norton, said Tuesday she will introduce legislation to remove the “problematic” statue.
Holmes Norton cited the statue’s “problematic depiction of the fight to achieve emancipation” as grounds for its removal.
“Although formerly enslaved Americans paid for this statue to be built in 1876, the design and sculpting process was done without their input and it shows,” Holmes Norton said in a statement. “The statue fails to note in any way how enslaved African Americans pushed for their own emancipation.”
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Bowser said that legislation had been proposed about the statue of President Andrew Jackson in Lafayette Square
“I’m getting my thinking around how we can have a discussion about that,” she said.
Fox News’ Morgan Phillips, Mary Hughes and Alex Pappas contributed to this report.