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Sun Jun 21, 2020, 11:17 PM

Roosevelt Statue to Be Removed From Museum of Natural History

Source: NY Times

The bronze statue of Theodore Roosevelt, on horseback and flanked by a Native American man and an African man, which has presided over the entrance to the American Museum of Natural History in New York since 1940, is coming down.

The decision, proposed by the museum and agreed to by New York City, which owns the building and property, came after years of objections from activists and at a time when the killing of George Floyd has initiated an urgent nationwide conversation about racism.

For many, the equestrian statue at the museum’s Central Park West entrance has come to symbolize a painful legacy of colonial expansion and racial discrimination.

“Over the last few weeks, our museum community has been profoundly moved by the ever-widening movement for racial justice that has emerged after the killing of George Floyd,” the museum’s president, Ellen V. Futter, said in an interview. “We have watched as the attention of the world and the country has increasingly turned to statues as powerful and hurtful symbols of systemic racism.”

Read more: https://www.nytimes.com/2020/06/21/arts/design/roosevelt-statue-to-be-removed-from-museum-of-natural-history.html#click=https://t.co/aPafBjXCOv

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Reply Roosevelt Statue to Be Removed From Museum of Natural History (Original post)
NYC Liberal Jun 2020 OP
catbyte Jun 2020 #1
IronLionZion Jun 2020 #3
orleans Jun 2020 #6
yaesu Jun 2020 #2
Hoyt Jun 2020 #5
mopinko Jun 2020 #18
tulipsandroses Jun 2020 #4
Maeve Jun 2020 #25
totodeinhere Jun 2020 #7
alphafemale Jun 2020 #8
tulipsandroses Jun 2020 #11
tulipsandroses Jun 2020 #9
TygrBright Jun 2020 #10
Warpy Jun 2020 #13
Polybius Jun 2020 #29
Warpy Jun 2020 #30
sarisataka Jun 2020 #14
Politicub Jun 2020 #26
totodeinhere Jun 2020 #31
Warpy Jun 2020 #12
tulipsandroses Jun 2020 #15
Warpy Jun 2020 #16
tulipsandroses Jun 2020 #17
Warpy Jun 2020 #19
tulipsandroses Jun 2020 #21
cab67 Jun 2020 #27
appalachiablue Jun 2020 #20
milestogo Jun 2020 #22
Lulu KC Jun 2020 #24
George II Jun 2020 #23
Kashkakat v.2.0 Jun 2020 #28

Response to NYC Liberal (Original post)

Sun Jun 21, 2020, 11:19 PM

1. Now, if we could just get the owner of Washington's NFL team to change that goddamned name.

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Response to catbyte (Reply #1)

Sun Jun 21, 2020, 11:32 PM

3. There are plenty of great names for that team






There are much worse out there but I won't post it here.

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Response to IronLionZion (Reply #3)

Sun Jun 21, 2020, 11:37 PM

6. (thanks for the chuckle) n/t

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Response to NYC Liberal (Original post)

Sun Jun 21, 2020, 11:26 PM

2. Though he is one of my favorite presidents I can understand this decision. He was progressive

in economic, social areas, national parks but he also loved his wars, manifest destiny and all.

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Response to yaesu (Reply #2)

Sun Jun 21, 2020, 11:37 PM

5. Can't get excited about removing it, but he did believe whites were superior.

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Response to yaesu (Reply #2)

Mon Jun 22, 2020, 01:16 AM

18. he was a stone cold sociopath. i wonder how many creatures he killed

in his lifetime.
besides all the humans, that is.

bloodlust. driven by bloodlust.

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Response to NYC Liberal (Original post)

Sun Jun 21, 2020, 11:36 PM

4. Geezus Effin Krist! I have never seen this statue. It should have been torn down a long time ago!

Why did it have to take so long to take this shit down- I like the way some of these intellectuals are twisting themselves into knots to explain this shit as innocent.

You have a white man on a horse, beneath him a damn near naked black man on one side and a Native American on the other side.
[link:|

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Response to tulipsandroses (Reply #4)

Mon Jun 22, 2020, 09:53 AM

25. Yes, it is that particular depiction that is objectionable

TR had his faults but the "lesser people" aspect of that statue is just wrong

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Response to NYC Liberal (Original post)

Sun Jun 21, 2020, 11:50 PM

7. Next they will want to remove him from Mount Rushmore.

But wait. Two of the other presidents on Mt. Rushmore were slave owners. Perhaps we should demolish the whole thing?

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Response to totodeinhere (Reply #7)

Sun Jun 21, 2020, 11:56 PM

8. It never should have been built in the first place

It is an abomination.

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Response to alphafemale (Reply #8)

Mon Jun 22, 2020, 12:09 AM

11. Exactly! This is my first time seeing it and I am hopping mad. Why couldn't they have made

a statue with him on a horse by himself? I am disgusted by the people in the video I posted, twisting themselves into knots to make this ok.

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Response to totodeinhere (Reply #7)

Sun Jun 21, 2020, 11:58 PM

9. Have you seen the statue in question?

That shit should have been torn down a long time ago. I truly do not understand America's love affair with this type of shit. Why is it necessary to have such a statue greet visitors?

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Response to totodeinhere (Reply #7)

Mon Jun 22, 2020, 12:06 AM

10. That's an excellent idea. n/t

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Response to totodeinhere (Reply #7)

Mon Jun 22, 2020, 12:12 AM

13. That "monument" always looks like vandalism to me

They took a beautiful mountain and hung a bunch of men on it. The sculpture isn't even finished, it ran out of money. It was a tourist trap from the get-go and should never have been permitted.

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Response to Warpy (Reply #13)

Mon Jun 22, 2020, 11:22 AM

29. It was never completed?

I didn't know that. What more was supposed to be done to it?

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Response to Polybius (Reply #29)

Mon Jun 22, 2020, 11:51 AM

30. Rubble is under the heads and extending downward

and it was never cleaned up. Eventually, those were all supposed to be classic busts, string tie on Lincoln and jabots on Washington and Jefferson. They ran out of money when the heads were completed and just left all the sculpting rubble where it was.

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Response to totodeinhere (Reply #7)

Mon Jun 22, 2020, 12:22 AM

14. Something I put for discussion yesterday

All of the Presidents there have flaws and the mountain is stolen property

https://www.democraticunderground.com/100213625257

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Response to totodeinhere (Reply #7)

Mon Jun 22, 2020, 10:21 AM

26. If he was flanked by a subservient African American and Native American,

like the statue in question, then it would warrant taking his visage down.

I don’t think the statue would be an issue if it didn’t celebrate colonialism and racial superiority.

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Response to Politicub (Reply #26)

Mon Jun 22, 2020, 01:28 PM

31. Yes the statute needed to come down. But as far as I know the statute was not commissioned by him

and he should not be held responsible for something he did not create. However, he should be help responsible for his racist comments about African Americans. However, he was very progressive for his time in many other ways and I think we need to acknowledge that as well.

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Response to NYC Liberal (Original post)

Mon Jun 22, 2020, 12:09 AM

12. Oh, FFS.

Yes, he never met a species he didn't want to kill.

However, don't forget he also signed our National Park system into existence, otherwise they'd be all fracked, mined, and oil welled to death by now, with nothing left alive but a few tame deer for rich guys on canned hunts.

Like other men who did something very right, he was a mixed bag who did a lot of things wrong.

Perhaps his statue could be put back up at one of the parks or monuments he created.

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Response to Warpy (Reply #12)

Mon Jun 22, 2020, 12:24 AM

15. Please take a look at that statue and tell me why it would be appropriate to place it in a park

I truly hope people are commenting without knowing what the statue looks like. If you are commenting after knowing what this statue is, then Lordy we have a long way to go.

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Response to tulipsandroses (Reply #15)

Mon Jun 22, 2020, 01:05 AM

16. I haven't seen it

and I suppose posting an image is out of the question, as is providing a description for people who don't live there. Expecting omniscience is so much easier.

Perhaps a description might be in order since most of my time in NYC was spent at a dead run and museums were simply not on the list. I've seen sites that say it's racially insensitive, but with no clear photos and no clear description of why that should be, the articles are useless.

However, my point stands, he was a mixed bag, a total jerk in his youth who gave us the national parks and monuments we now have when he grew up and got some sense. His trust busting was icing on the cake. Other than that, he was a product of his time, eugenics was all the rage and people spoke openly about the white man's burden.

If that statue is removed, perhaps some day they'll put up a better one. I can't comment on how bad this one is because no one has posted a clear picture and no one has given a description of it.

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Response to Warpy (Reply #16)

Mon Jun 22, 2020, 01:14 AM

17. See post #4, description of the statue and video included. The OP has a link to the article

which has a pic.

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Response to tulipsandroses (Reply #17)

Mon Jun 22, 2020, 01:31 AM

19. Listened to the video, couldn't see it clearly

but it sounds like the artist was trying for something deep and symbolic and missed by a mile.

TR is on a horse because he fought in a war. That's what that means. If the horse is rearing up, it means he died fighting in a war, which he didn't. Had they left the 2 figures off, it might have been a decent statue, the artist just didn't know when to stop. However, having him on a horse doesn't imply superiority in this case, it's just the way statues are made and have been for a very long time.

Once again, it's modern sensibilities running into nearly 100 year old symbolism (1926 for the approval of the design). People now see the white guy on a horse and the two POC having to hoof it and don't know what the horse represents about TR's career and miss the point.

I do agree it would have been a much better statue, far less cluttered, if the two figures were left off, but back in the roaring 20s, anything worth doing was worth overdoing.

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Response to Warpy (Reply #19)

Mon Jun 22, 2020, 02:49 AM

21. There is a also a pic that is the link the OP posted

That is not what that sculpture meant to portray. But as with all art, people will see what they want to see.
You see that - I see colonialism and the imagery of whites subjugating native Americans and blacks. I am appalled that it took this long to remove it.

This is how The Smithsonian describes the statue
The information provided about this artwork was compiled as part of the Smithsonian American Art Museum's Inventories of American Painting and Sculpture database, designed to provide descriptive and location information on artworks by American artists in public and private collections worldwide.
][link:https://www.si.edu/object/siris_ari_6817|

Summary
Roosevelt is depicted on horseback as both hunter and explorer. He is flanked by the figures of two guides, one Native American and one African, meant to symoblize the continents of America and Africa. The Native American figure is striding forward wearing a feather headdress, moccasins and a long sarong around his waist. The African figure is striding forward with a cloth draped over his proper right shoulder and a gun in his proper right hand. Roosevelt grasps the reins of his horse in his proper left hand and
reaches back with his proper right hand as if to grab the gun which he wears in a holster around his waist.

This how the architect of the museum described what would be built
“In the center of the terrace…will arise a polished granite pedestal bearing an equestrian statue of Roosevelt with two accompanying figures on foot, one representing the American Indian and the other the primitive African. This heroic group…will symbolize the fearless leadership, the explorer, benefactor and educator….”—From a description of the architect’s design approved by the Memorial Commission, 1928
[link:https://www.amnh.org/exhibitions/addressing-the-theodore-roosevelt-statue/making-the-statue|

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Response to Warpy (Reply #12)

Mon Jun 22, 2020, 10:23 AM

27. The issue isn't Roosevelt.

It's the Native American and Central African standing, eyes cast downward, on either side of his horse.

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Response to NYC Liberal (Original post)

Mon Jun 22, 2020, 01:44 AM

20. 'Night at the Museum': TR, Robin Williams, Ben Stiller



Cute film clip. ~ TR's alignment with prevalent views during his lifetime that deemed minority races as inferior is highly troubling.

Yet Roosevelt accomplished a lot of good in other areas as noted in this thread.

There's no getting around the centuries of damage and pain perpetuated by demeaning treatment and portrayals of 'lesser, 'exotic' peoples in public art, news media, literature and cinema- the tensions have come to a boiling point.

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Response to NYC Liberal (Original post)

Mon Jun 22, 2020, 08:10 AM

22. What about the horse?

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Response to milestogo (Reply #22)

Mon Jun 22, 2020, 09:38 AM

24. good one!

Yesterday I started thinking after BLM, will we take down all monuments of the patriarchy? But let's just leave all the horses, empty. I love it!

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Response to NYC Liberal (Original post)

Mon Jun 22, 2020, 08:57 AM

23. I must have walked past that statue a thousand times, I never even realized who it was.

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Response to NYC Liberal (Original post)

Mon Jun 22, 2020, 10:34 AM

28. I just hope a place is found to archive at least some of these things - definitely get them out of

people's faces, should NOT have to be looking at them in our daily lives - but they are still historical record and as such should be put away somewhere for future reference (along with the "whites only" signs and other artifacts of american apartheid, nazi and Klan artifacts, etc.)

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