In light of the anti-racism protests going on in the country, there has been renewed scrutiny regarding various Confederate monuments and other controversial statues that are up in several states. According to CNN, New York is one of the many states that is dealing with this issue, and it's all because of a statue of President Theodore Roosevelt that lies in the front of the American Museum of Natural History in New York City. On Sunday, the office of New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced that the statue of Roosevelt will be removed given the president's controversial background when it came to people of color.
The American Museum of Natural History previously sent in a request to remove the statue, which depicts Roosevelt on horseback with a Native American man standing on one side and an African man standing on the other. Their request has since been approved. The mayor's office released a statement about the removal of the statue in which they explained that they approved the request as it depicts Black and indigenous individuals as "subjugated" and "racially inferior" given how the Native American man and the African man are featured in contrast to President Roosevelt. Their statement read, "The American Museum of Natural History has asked to remove the Theodore Roosevelt statue because it explicitly depicts Black and Indigenous people as subjugated and racially inferior. The city supports the museum's request. It is the right decision and the right time to remove this problematic statue."
A press release on the museum's website noted that the statue, which is properly titled "Equestrian Statue of Theodore Roosevelt," was originally supposed to celebrate Roosevelt as a "devoted naturalist and author of works on natural history," and that the statue also "communicates a racial hierarchy that the museum and members of the public have long found disturbing." It was commissioned back in 1925 and made its debut in front of the museum 15 years later. The museum's press release continued to note that they must consider Roosevelt's past in order to fully understand the importance of this matter.
"To understand the statue, we must recognize our country's enduring legacy of racial discrimination -- as well as Roosevelt's troubling views on race," the press release continued. "We must also acknowledge the museum's own imperfect history. Such an effort does not excuse the past but it can create a foundation for honest, respectful, open dialogue." As of right now, there has been no date has been set for the statue's removal. Although, CNN reported that the mayor's office is working to determine the next steps regarding this matter.