Protesters vowed Tuesday to topple Washington DC’s Emancipation Memorial statue that depicts President Abraham Lincoln freeing a slave from his fetters.
“A speaker at the protest against the Emancipation statue of Lincoln in DC said it represents how black people are inferior to white people. He added they aren’t going to wait for the police to give them their liberation,” journalist Julio Rosas tweeted Tuesday.
A speaker at the protest against the Emancipation statue of Lincoln in DC said it represents how black people are inferior to white people. He added they aren’t going to wait for the police to give them their liberation. pic.twitter.com/s2zZpCr1nU
— Julio Rosas (@Julio_Rosas11) June 23, 2020
The people who paid for the statue to be built were reportedly freed slaves — including many former Union soldiers who were not even allowed to join the U.S. military at the beginning of the Civil War. (RELATED: Brian Kilmeade: Vandals Can ‘Defile’ Jackson Statue But ‘They Couldn’t Take Him Down’)
In recent weeks vandals have toppled statues of various American historical figures — frequently without interference from police. The mobs began with Confederate statues but soon progressed to other leaders.
Protesters Friday tore down statues of President and Civil War Gen. Ulysses S. Grant as well as American anthem composer Francis Scott Key in San Francisco.
Democratic New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo declared Monday that he considers the toppling of statues to be “a healthy expression” and a means of establishing “priorities.”
President Donald Trump said in a tweet Monday he had “authorized the Federal Government to arrest anyone who vandalizes or destroys any monument, statue or other such Federal property in the U.S. with up to 10 years in prison, per the Veteran’s Memorial Preservation Act, or such other laws that may be pertinent.” (RELATED: ‘Not Doing Their Job’: Trump Criticizes DC Police As Confederate Statue Toppled Right Outside Their Headquarters)
The Emancipation Memorial was dedicated in 1876. The keynote speaker was renowned black activist and abolitionist Frederick Douglass, who had urged Lincoln to make emancipation one of the Civil War’s primary objectives.
“We stand today at the national center to perform something like a national act — an act which is to go into history; and we are here where every pulsation of the national heart can be heard, felt, and reciprocated. A thousand wires, fed with thought and winged with lightning, put us in instantaneous communication with the loyal and true men all over the country,” he told the crowd.