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‘Hamilton’ Star Leslie Odom Jr. Open to Removal of Washington, Jefferson Statues

Actor Leslie Odom Jr. says public statues should be erected to “inspire us,” to “teach us,” and to “give us hope,” but if they no longer do so, communities can decide that they don’t want them anymore — even when it comes to statues of America’s Founding Fathers.

The star of the Broadway sensation Hamilton told TMZ this week that no statue should be “off the table for discussion” on whether or not it could be removed.

“If we decide as a community that this bronze commemoration is no longer doing that, if it’s no longer inspiring us, if it’s no longer making us feel great about ourselves, they come down for a while, or forever,” he said.

“You can reexamine things in the future, but if a statue has to come down for a minute, we’re allowed to do that,” Odom added.

“We’re even allowed to do that Thomas Jefferson and George Washington,” he added. “We’re allowed to. They’re not off the table for discussion. I think it’s a great question.”

Odom’s comments to TMZ come as left-wing activists across the country have mobilized in attempts to remove Confederate monuments and other Civil War statues from public places.

Earlier this week, the city of Baltimore removed four Confederate statues from public spaces in the middle of the night, with the city council approving the move in a unanimous vote.

“They needed to come down,” Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh told the Baltimore Sun. “My concern is for the safety and security of our people. We moved as quickly as we could.”

As Breitbart News reported, Democratic activists — including members of the Council on American Islamic Relations and Antifa — have led a national push for the removal of Confederate statues in recent days. The move comes after a rally organized to protest the removal of a statue of Confederate general Robert E. Lee in Charlottesville on Saturday turned deadly when white nationalist protesters clashed with Antifa counter-protesters, and a 20-year-old man drove his car into a crowd of counter-protesters, killing one woman and injuring at least 19 others.

President Trump mentioned the effort in a press conference Tuesday in Manhattan, specifically questioning whether states of Washington and Jefferson might be next.

 

Follow Daniel Nussbaum on Twitter: @dznussbaum

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