The great-great-grandson of Theodore Roosevelt on Monday expressed support for the decision to remove a monument depicting the former president in New York City.
On Sunday, the American Museum of Natural History said the statue of Roosevelt riding horseback accompanied by an African American male and a Native American conveys a bigoted message and would be taken down.
“If you look at it now, I think it gives the wrong message,” said Kermit Roosevelt III, a law professor at the University of Pennsylvania.
Roosevelt's great great grandson, Kermit Roosevelt III lives in Philadelphia and is a professor at Penn Law. He told me removing it is the right call. He says there are so many great memorials for Roosevelt like the national park. pic.twitter.com/Zj9sTwwl0V
— Beccah Hendrickson (@Beccah6abc) June 22, 2020
“I think the problem is you’ve got one white man on a horse and then a native person and an African person walking along, behind, below in this subordinate posture,” continued Roosevelt.
The decision to remove the monument was spearheaded by museum officials, and later approved by the Big Apple, which owns the building in which the museum is housed.
New York City mayor Bill de Blasio said:
The American Museum of Natural History has asked to remove the Theodore Roosevelt statue because it explicitly depicts Black and Indigenous people as subjugated and racially inferior. The City supports the Museum’s request. It is the right decision and the right time to remove this problematic statue.
President Donald Trump weighed in on the matter on Twitter, writing of the planned removal: “Ridiculous, don’t do it!”
The move to take down the statue comes as Black Lives Matter protesters have targeted Confederate statues, as well as monuments of presidents such as George Washington and Andrew Jackson, in the wake of protests and violent unrest sparked by the death of George Floyd.