Was the Statue of Teddy Roosevelt Removed From the Museum of Natural History?

The recent news of the removal of the statue of Teddy Roosevelt from the Museum of Natural History has caused quite a stir. The statue, which has been standing outside the museum’s entrance for decades, depicts Roosevelt on horseback with an African man and a Native American man walking alongside him. The decision to remove the statue has sparked debate and divided opinions.

The Controversy

The controversy surrounding the statue stems from its depiction of Roosevelt as a colonialist and white supremacist. The African man and Native American man are portrayed as subservient to Roosevelt, perpetuating racial stereotypes. Additionally, many argue that the statue glorifies imperialism and conquest.

The decision to remove the statue was made by the museum’s administration after years of protests by activists who argued that it was offensive and inappropriate. The decision was also supported by Mayor Bill de Blasio, who stated that “the city believes that this is the right decision and we believe that it is long overdue.”

The Museum’s Response

In response to the removal of the statue, the Museum of Natural History released a statement acknowledging that “the statue explicitly depicts Black and Indigenous people as subjugated and racially inferior.” They also acknowledged that “the museum has long been a place of learning and reflection on important topics, including racism.”

The museum plans to commission new art to fill the space left by the removal of the statue. They have stated their commitment to promoting diversity, equity, inclusion, and anti-racism in all aspects of their work.

Public Response

The public response to the removal of the statue has been mixed. Many have applauded the decision as a step towards reconciliation and progress in addressing systemic racism. Others have criticized it as an erasure of history and an attempt to rewrite or ignore uncomfortable truths.

Some have pointed out that while removing statues may be a symbolic gesture, it does not address deeper issues such as systemic racism and inequality. Others argue that the removal of such statues is an important step towards acknowledging and addressing the harm caused by colonialism and white supremacy.

Conclusion

The removal of the statue of Teddy Roosevelt from the Museum of Natural History has sparked debate and divided opinions. While some see it as a necessary step towards addressing systemic racism, others view it as erasing history. Regardless of one’s stance on the issue, it is clear that the controversy surrounding this statue highlights the need for continued conversations and action towards promoting diversity, equity, inclusion, and anti-racism in all aspects of society.