As public officials take a fresh look at statues of historical figures, Eleanor Holmes Norton, Washington, D.C.’s non-voting delegate to the House of Representatives, is pushing to take down a statue of President Abraham Lincoln.
Norton is planning on introducing legislation in Congress that would remove a statue of Lincoln from Lincoln Park in Washington, D.C.
“The designers of the Emancipation Statue in Lincoln Park in DC didn’t take into account the views of African Americans. It shows,” Norton said in a tweet. “Blacks too fought to end enslavement. That’s why I’m introducing a bill to move this statue to a museum.”
The designers of the Emancipation Statue in Lincoln Park in DC didn’t take into account the views of African Americans. It shows. Blacks too fought to end enslavement. That’s why I’m introducing a bill to move this statue to a museum. pic.twitter.com/A0MOnISH1N— Eleanor Holmes Norton (@EleanorNorton) June 23, 2020
“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. The statue fails to note in any way how enslaved African Americans pushed for their own emancipation,” she continued.
“Understandably, they were only recently liberated from slavery and were grateful for any recognition of their freedom,” she added.
Additionally, Norton noted that the statue is on “National Park Sevice (NPS) land” and she will try to remove the statue “without an act of Congress.”
The statue was erected on April 14, 1876, on the 11th anniversary of Lincoln’s assassination. It depicts Lincoln standing over a freed black man.
Norton’s push to remove the statue comes as protesters have torn down statues of individuals with racist legacies.
In Richmond, Virginia protests tore down a statue of Christopher Columbus and threw in in a lake. And Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam (D) said he would remove a statue of Confederate general Robert E. Lee, as IJR reported.
Protesters also attempted to tear down a statue of President Andrew Jackson that stands outside the White House.
However, in recent days, statues of figures who are more revered have also been defaced. In Baltimore, a statue of George Washington was defaced, and in California, a statue of Union general and President Ulysses S. Grant was torn down.