Washburn U. Removes Statues of ‘Controversial’ Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin

AP Photo/J. David Ake
AP Photo/J. David Ake

Washburn University in Topeka, Kansas, quietly removed statues of Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin Franklin from campus in July over concerns that they would be vandalized by protesters. The university also feared that having a statue of Thomas Jefferson would become a “target or an embarrassment” for alumni. Statues of Jefferson have recently been targeted by vandals on campuses and in parks around the country.

According to a report by the College Fix, Washburn University removed statues of Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin Franklin in July to prevent vandalism. The statues, which were donated by a Washburn alumnus, were replaced with blue benches.

The decision to remove the statues came in response to a petition that circulated at the University of Missouri in which demanded the removal of a “racist” Thomas Jefferson statue on campus.

Washburn University spokesperson Patrick Early said that the statues were removed to avoid the possibility of vandalism and to prevent them from becoming an embarrassment to “donors.” Early claims that no one noticed that the statues were gone until a month after their removal.

“Jefferson has become a little bit more of a controversial figure,” Early said in a short statement. “The reason (for wanting to remove the statue) at the University of Missouri was that he was slaveholder, and that’s why it became a target there. We didn’t want (Washburn’s replica) to become a target or an embarrassment to the donors.”

Breitbart News reported in June that a statue of Thomas Jefferson at a high school in Portland, Oregon, was torn down by protesters.

“We’re taking this city back,” one protester said. “One school at a time. One racist statue at a time.”

Stay tuned to Breitbart News for more updates on this story.

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