Lucian K. Truscott IV, a direct descendant of Thomas Jefferson, has urged that the Washington, D.C., memorial honoring the third president be replaced with a statue to abolitionist Harriet Tubman.
Truscott wrote in an opinion-editorial for the New York Times:
The memorial is a shrine to a man who during his lifetime owned more than 600 slaves and had at least six children with one of them, Sally Hemings. It’s a shrine to a man who famously wrote that ‘all men are created equal’ in the Declaration of Independence that founded this nation — and yet never did much to make those words come true. [Jefferson’s] memorial in Washington should be taken down and replaced. Described by the National Park Service as ‘a shrine to freedom,’ it is anything but. In Jefferson’s place, there should be another statue. It should be of Harriet Tubman.
Truscott’s plea comes as Black Lives Matter protests prompted by the death of George Floyd — an African-American man who died in Minneapolis police custody — have devolved into statues of Confederate leaders and presidents such as Jefferson being torn down.
In June, a statue of Jefferson was vandalized and yanked down outside a high school in Portland, Oregon.
— The Oregonian (@Oregonian) June 15, 2020