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If NYC takes down Washington, Columbus, Jefferson statues, official says his Long Island town would 'welcome' them
Christopher Columbus statue in New York City (Image source: YouTube screenshot)

If NYC takes down Washington, Columbus, Jefferson statues, official says his Long Island town would 'welcome' them

A Long Island town official told the New York Post that if New York City decides to take down statues of iconic historical figures such as George Washington, Christopher Columbus, and Thomas Jefferson, his town would "welcome" them.

“You know, I didn’t want to comment on whether that was right or wrong because that’s a decision of the city. But I said, ‘If you’re going to do that, hey, we’ll take the statues,’” Brookhaven Town Supervisor Edward Romaine told the Post Tuesday.

The paper said Brookhaven already has spots picked out for the statues and even will cover the cost of dismantling and shipping them. Brookhaven is located about 70 miles east of New York City.

What's the background?

During a city council meeting Tuesday, Council Member Sandy Nurse went over a bill she’s sponsoring that would sanction the removal of city art depicting people who owned slaves, benefited from slavery, or committed crimes against indigenous people or humanity, Spectrum News reported.

Nurse said her bill "challenge[s] the celebration of those who have perpetuated oppression," the outlet reported.

Spectrum News added that the bill would require the city’s Public Design Commission to create the plan for removal and a process for determining whether city art should instead include an explanatory plaque contextualizing the person's legacy.

Jacob Morris, executive director of the Harlem Historical Society, noted to the outlet that "we need to appreciate historical context" — and that in regard to the Washington statue in Union Square, owning slaves shouldn't force down a monument.

“Someone like George Washington absolutely was the father of our country,” Morris added to Spectrum News.

The outlet also said the bill is still in committee and must be voted out of committee to be considered by the entire city council.

As for the town of Brookhaven offering space for the individuals depicted by the statues, Romaine told the Post that “we look at their accomplishments, what they did for their time, and how they contributed to the long arc of history. And we would welcome having those statues.”

Romaine said in a letter to New York City Mayor Eric Adams how important some of the historical figures are to the Brookhaven community, the paper added.

“If we look through our eyes today and try to judge them for what they did years ago as some people may do, they come away with a different view," he said, according to the Post. "I look at their contribution to history overall, I look at what they’ve done.”

The paper said Brookhaven has 20 to 25 parks, and Romaine said displaying the statues means they “could get the respect that they’re deserving.”

Bid to remove statues of controversial figuresyoutu.be

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