Trump Called It: New York City Considers Measure to Remove Controversial Statues Including George Washington

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NEW YORK, UNITED STATES - 2020/06/26: General view of statue of President George Washington on Union Square. Many statues of historic figures like George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt, Christopher Columbus became targets of protests across the US. (Photo by Lev Radin/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images)

Former President Donald Trump correctly predicted years ago the far-left would eventually go after the Founding Fathers — something that came to fruition Tuesday, as officials in New York City considered a measure which would remove works of art depicting those who owned slaves or benefitted from slavery.

That, of course, would include the Father of the Nation, George Washington.

The measure was one of many considered during Tuesday’s meeting. The New York City’s council agenda listed the bill, which would require the Public Design Commission (PDC) to “publish a plan to remove works of art on City property that depict a person who owned enslaved persons or directly benefitted economically from slavery, or who participated in systemic crimes against indigenous peoples or other crimes against humanity.”

That would put the likes of George Washington, whose depiction stands in Union Square Park, on the radar.

File/Union Square memorial by George Washington Statue for victims of the 9/11 attacks. (David L Ryan/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)

If the PDC decided against removing the work of art, even though the individual depicted fit the criteria listed, it would be required to “include in the plan steps it will take to install an explanatory plaque next to the work of art.”

Sreoshy Banerjea, director of the city’s PDC, said during the meeting there would be “several” works of art across the city that would meet the bill’s criteria.

Former President Donald Trump correctly predicted the far-left would eventually go after the Founding Fathers of the nation, issuing that warning as the left became obsessed with removing Confederate statues and works of art.

File/Equestrian statue of George Washington, Union Square Park, New York, New York, 1929. (Irving Browning/New York Historical Society/Getty)

“This week, it’s Robert E. Lee. I noticed that Stonewall Jackson is coming down. I wonder, is George Washington next week, and is it Thomas Jefferson the week after?” Trump asked during a press conference in 2017.

“You really do have to ask yourself: ‘Where does it stop?’” he continued, expressing similar sentiments on X, which was then known as Twitter.

“Sad to see the history and culture of our great country being ripped apart with the removal of our beautiful statues and monuments,” Trump said, asking, “Robert E. Lee, Stonewall Jackson – who’s next, Washington, Jefferson? So foolish!”

Notably, NBC News cast doubt on Trump’s prediction at the time, writing in a 2017 article [emphasis added]:

Resistance to Confederate statues is a more recent phenomenon and has gained momentum in the last 15 years, said Aaron Astor, a history professor at Maryville College in Tennessee who focuses on the Civil War era. A groundswell of opposition to statues of the Founding Fathers, however, hasn’t caught on.

Further, NBC, citing historians who spoke to the outlet, asserted that those fears espoused by Trump were “slightly misplaced and that Trump is championing a murky interpretation of history.”

Indeed, the left continued in their pursuit of erasing history. In 2020, former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) announced the four portraits of former speakers who served in the Confederacy — all of whom were Democrats — would be removed on Juneteenth.

At the time, Pelosi said there was “no room in hallowed halls of democracy, this temple of democracy, to memorialize people who embody violent bigotry and grotesque racism of the Confederacy.”

Notably, Pelosi remained remarkably silent on her father’s role in overseeing the dedication of the Stonewall Jackson and Robert E. Lee Monument while he served as Baltimore’s mayor decades ago, in 1948.

The following year, in 2021, Democrats in New York removed a statue of Thomas Jefferson from City Hall, again, proving Trump right.

 

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