A statue of famed black abolitionist Frederick Douglass was destroyed at Maplewood Park in Rochester, New York, over the weekend, which comes on the anniversary of a notable speech that Douglass delivered at an Independence Day event in the city in 1852.
“The base and lower part of the statue was damaged, as was a finger on the statue’s left hand,” the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle reported. “There is historical significance to the timing of the vandalism — though no one can now say whether the timing was mere happenstance — just as there is historical significance to the statue’s very location. The Maplewood Park location includes Kelsey’s Landing, where Douglass, Harriet Tubman, and others helped shuttle slaves to safety along the Underground Railroad.”
The base of a Frederick Douglass statue torn down overnight here in Maplewood Park. Bits of the statue scattered around the area. @News_8 pic.twitter.com/L6qgV7bVH2
— Ben Densieski (@BenDensieski) July 5, 2020
Carvin Eison, who helped bring the statue to the city, told the local newspaper that the statue was too damaged to be repaired, but indicated that another statue would be created to take its place.
“Rochester Police are investigating damage done to a statue of Frederick Douglass in Maplewood Park,” WXXI News reported. “It happened over the weekend, and police say that the statue was torn off its base, and left about 50 feet from its pedestal. The statue had been placed over the fence to Genesee River gorge and was leaning against the fence.”
The destruction of the statue comes on the 168th anniversary of a notable speech that Douglass gave where he said, “The fact is, ladies and gentlemen, the distance between this platform and the slave plantation, from which I escaped, is considerable — and the difficulties to be overcome in getting from the latter to the former, are by no means slight. That I am here today is, to me, a matter of astonishment as well as of gratitude.”
“This, for the purpose of this celebration, is the 4th of July,” Douglass later added. “It is the birthday of your National Independence, and of your political freedom. This, to you, is what the Passover was to the emancipated people of God. It carries your minds back to the day, and to the act of your great deliverance; and to the signs, and to the wonders, associated with that act, and that day.”
The destruction of the statue comes as far-left rioters have destroyed numerous historical statues and monuments in recent weeks, including “statues of former Presidents George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Ulysses S. Grant,” as well as the attempted destruction of a “statue of former President Andrew Jackson before being stopped by law enforcement,” The Daily Wire reported. “Statues of the man who wrote “The Star-Spangled Banner,” a notable person from the Catholic church, and a Holocaust memorial have also been destroyed in recent days.”
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