Hofstra University student activists are calling for the removal of a statue of Thomas Jefferson from campus near New York City because they say the third American president represents racism and slavery.
Students participated Friday in the second annual “Jefferson Has Gotta Go!” event over the statue that has been subject to protests and acts of vandalism in the past, with some previously defacing it with “DECOLONIZE” and “Black Lives Matter” slogans.
A petition last year was launched urging to move the Founding Father’s statue to a museum with proper context rather than display it “on a college campus, especially not in front of a hub of student life.”
“Jefferson’s values aided in the construction of institutionalized racism and justified the subjugation of black people in the United States,” the petition read. “Jefferson has been embraced as an icon by white supremacist and neo-nazi organizations such as the Ku Klux Klan and online white supremacist chat rooms.”