A statue of Frederick Douglass was ripped from its base and damaged beyond repair in New York. The timing raises speculations of revenge in the recent toppling of Confederate statues.
Frederick Douglass, who was a famous abolitionist’s had a statue of him torn down in Rochester’s Maplewood Park. The statue situated along the Underground Railroad where slaves were escorted to freedom with the help of Frederick Douglass and Harriet Tubman.
Police say the statue was found 50 feet from its stand and suffered damage to the base, down to the finger. According to Carvin Eison – a leader of the project that brought the statue to the Rochester park, the damage is so bad, that another statue will have to take its place.
The act of vandalism took place on the anniversary of one of Frederick Douglass’ most famous speeches – “What to the Slave is the Fourth of July”. The speech was delivered in New York City on July 5, 1852. In the speech, Frederick Douglass called the celebration of Independence Day a sham in a nation that enslaves and oppresses Black citizens. Frederick Douglass, having escaped from slavery himself, says to a said to a slave, the day “reveals to him – more than all other days in the year, the gross injustice and cruelty to which he is the constant victim.”
Eison believes the statue being destroyed might be an act of retaliation due to the “national fever over Confederate monuments right now.” He calls it disappointing. He adds that another monument should go up immediately so “whoever did this knows that we are not going to be deterred from what our objective is. Which is to continually celebrate Frederick Douglass.”
President Donald Trump, in a tweet thinks this is an attack from “anarchists”.
Do you agree about this being an act of retaliation?