Boston residents are petitioning for the removal of a statue showing former President Abraham Lincoln standing over an emancipated slave, saying the image represents submissiveness and inequality, WCVB-TV reported.
The statue currently sits in Boston's Park Place. Lincoln is standing with his hand raised over a black slave who is kneeling and has broken shackles on his wrists. It is a replica of Washington, D.C.'s emancipation memorial.
An online petition, started by a Boston native named Tory Bullock, calls for the statue to be removed. It has more than 7,000 signatures.
"It says that it's a statue that's supposed to represent freedom," Bullock told WCVB. "But, to me, it represents submissiveness. It represents: 'Know your place, because that's where you belong.'
"This is a great opportunity to get some local black artists involved in the creation of (a new) statue, to come up with something new that represents equality," Bullock continued. "Right now, I have the momentum and leverage with everything going on in the world, that we can actually make a difference here."
The removal petition has been acknowledged by Boston Mayor Marty Walsh, who said he is open to discussions about removing the statue and commissioning an artist to create something new. A statement from a spokesperson said Walsh is "willing to engage in a dialogue with the community about its future in Boston."
A statue in Boston of Christopher Columbus was recently beheaded by protesters and has been removed from public view as Walsh and city officials consider what to do with it going forward.
"This particular (Christopher Columbus) statue has been subject of repeated vandalism here in Boston," Walsh told WCVB. "Given the conversations that we are certainly having right now in our city of Boston and throughout the country, we are going to take time to assess the historic meaning of the statue."
(H/T: New York Post)