A recently circulated petition calls on the University of Virginia to take down a statue of Revolutionary War hero George Rogers Clark, arguing that it is a “monument to genocide.”
According to a report by Campus Reform, a new petition circulating at the University of Virginia is calling on administrators to take down a statue of George Rogers Clark, an early American pioneer who became one of the highest-ranking American military officers during the Revolutionary War. Clark was the older brother of William Clark, of the Lewis and Clark Expedition.
The petition, which has been signed almost 500 times, calls on University of Virginia President James Ryan to remove the statue. The petition calls the statue of “shameful memory” of “genocide.”
Like the statues of Lee and Jackson in downtown Charlottesville, the statue of George Rogers Clark at UVA depicts a white man on a horse dressed for war. But, unlike Lee and Jackson, Clark is not alone. He has other men behind him with a gun and a barrel of gun powder, and he appears to be reaching back for a gun with his right hand. There are four Native Americans in front of him, including one infant. One of them appears defiant. One appears to be a woman carrying the infant. An article from the 1921 dedication of the statue in the University of Virginia Alumni News approvingly describes the woman in the memorial as being forced to beg for mercy for her baby.
The petition was posted by David Swanson, who claims that he was motivated to take action in the aftermath of the August 2017 Charlottesville rally. The rally in Charlottesville originated over controversial statues of Confederate figures.
“We’ve all been living in Charlottesville year after year and walking by this statue and not noticing or complaining or making an issue of it,” Swanson said in a comment to a local news reporter. “None of the statues [in the area] are actually inoffensive.”
This isn’t the first statue to offend a student on campus. Breitbart News reported in October 2015 that students at the University of Missouri were offended by a campus statue of Founding Father Thomas Jefferson.