Students at the College of William & Mary want Thomas Jefferson’s status removed from campus because they call him an “incestuous rapist” and a “racist.”
The Jefferson statue there is now covered in yellow notes that say things including: “he knew it was wrong,” “racist” “rapist,” “black lives matter,” and ” stop worshiping racists.”
The College of William & Mary, Jefferson’s alma mater, is one of many schools in America where student activists are debating the legacy of the Founding Fathers and demanding the removal of anything that commemorates them.
At Princeton University, student activists held a sit-in inside the office of the president demanding that Woodrow Wilson’s name be removed from all the university’s buildings.
Students at the University of Missouri are also targeting Thomas Jefferson. A petition has been created for the removal of Jefferson’s statue from university grounds.
According to the petition:
The need to project a progressive environment is just as important as food and shelter to survive. A welcoming environment does not stop at the feet of individuals in particular spaces. A welcoming environment is also determined by its physical environment e.g., the use of artifacts in designated spaces. Some individuals may not see Thomas Jefferson’s statue in the quad as a form of oppression, but in higher education settings where highly conscious students are present, it is relatively easy to see and read such nonverbal messages.
Thomas Jefferson’s statue sends a clear nonverbal message that his values and beliefs are supported by the University of Missouri. Jefferson’s statue perpetuates a sexist-racist atmosphere that continues to reside on campus.