Student activists at Long Island’s Hofstra University are demanding the removal of a statue of Thomas Jefferson due to his image representing “racism and slavery.”
This latest protest comes a year after Hofstra students started a petition to get our third president ousted from the campus. That plea included the usual politically correct requisite trigger warnings (“mentions of slavery, rape, eugenics, anti-black racism”) and states “Jefferson’s values aided in the construction of institutionalized racism and justified the subjugation of black people in the United States.”
When Hofstra did not bow down to that effort, the student who originated the campaign was pretty irked. What would it take before university officials saw things her way, she pondered. Would it be “[Jefferson’s] repeated rape of multiracial slave Sally Hemings”? His “documented calls for the genocide and mass murder of enslaved populations”? Or perhaps his role in “sustaining slavery in America and having owned over 600 slaves over the course of his lifetime”?
Hofstra’s TJ statue has been the site of protests and vandalism before, Fox News reports, including the word “DECOLONIZE” and Black Lives Matter slogans.
According to Campus Reform, in addition to Hofstra students, yesterday’s “Jefferson Has Gotta Go!” event was organized by staff from Nassau County’s Planned Parenthood and “supporters of Hempstead community.”
Former Hofstra College Democrats board member Miranda Pino said the protest “isn’t just about a statue,” it’s about “a legacy of racism and bigotry on college campuses.”
Further demands from [Jefferson Has Gotta Go!], stated in its media advisory, include “an online, bias reporting system, an online complaint receipt program, and mandated, comprehensive, cultural competency training.”
The University’s Board of Trustees and Hofstra University President Stuart Rabinowitz have yet to be persuaded to go along with the demands.
“President Stuart Rabinowitz has refused to remove our campus sculpture of Thomas Jefferson at the will of the board of Trustees,” JGG stated in its media advisory.
The university president responded in June 2018 after the first protest, announcing the statue would remain and that he would create a task force “to consider further dialogue and education about our founding fathers, the Atlantic slave trade and Western expansion; to think about what freedom and equality mean at the University.”