NEW YORK CITY — Rumored 2020 presidential hopeful and New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo catered to his party’s left-wing base Wednesday when he called for the removal of Confederate names and busts from the Big Apple.
Instead of calling for calm as left-wing radicals across the U.S. look to strip the country of various historical artifacts in the wake of the violence in Charlottesville, Virginia, Gov. Cuomo is instead stoking the flames of iconoclasm.
Cuomo announced Wednesday that he had asked the acting secretary of the U.S. Army to remove confederate names from the streets near Fort Hamilton Military Base in Brooklyn.
I just asked the acting secretary of the @USArmy to remove confederate names from the streets of Fort Hamilton in Brooklyn.
— Andrew Cuomo (@NYGovCuomo) August 16, 2017
He later announced that sculptures of two confederate generals — Stonewall Jackson and Robert E. Lee — would be removed from the City University of New York’s (CUNY) hall of great Americans purportedly “because New York stands against racism.”
There are many great Americans, many of them New Yorkers worthy of a spot in this great hall. These two confederates are not among them.
— Andrew Cuomo (@NYGovCuomo) August 17, 2017
Cuomo’s move was particularly curious as New York is not known for being a hot bed of Confederacy. Even the New York Times noted that New York, “a Northern stronghold of Unionists and abolitionists, has few Confederate memorials.”
The move came as two plaques honoring Lee were removed from a Brooklyn park. The New York Daily News reported that the plaque from 1912 was removed from a tree planted by Lee in the 1840s, years before the outbreak of the Civil War.
Lee served at Fort Hamilton during those years, and the tree is now outside an Episcopal Church. A second plaque installed in 1935 was also removed.
“For us, it wasn’t a decision that needed more than a minute of thought,” Bishop Lawrence Provenzano of the Episcopal Diocese of Long Island, told the Daily News.
Not all local residents were happy:
“What’s next?” local resident Tony Eye told the Daily News. “If someone doesn’t like the color of that guy’s door, you’re going to take it down? If it was red, and someone related that to communism, they have to take it down because it’s a red door?”
The purge looks like it is far from over, however, with Democratic Mayor Bill de Blasio announcing Wednesday that, in the wake of Charlottesville, “New York City will conduct a 90-day review of all symbols of hate on city property.”
After the violent events in Charlottesville, New York City will conduct a 90-day review of all symbols of hate on city property.
— Mayor Bill de Blasio (@NYCMayor) August 16, 2017
Adam Shaw is a Breitbart News politics reporter based in New York. Follow Adam on Twitter: @AdamShawNY