The Boston Arts Commission voted 8-0 to remove the Emancipation Memorial out of Boston’s Park Square and into temporary storage.

At least professionals will take it down instead of the mob?

From Boston 25 News:

The Boston Art Commission voted unanimously to remove the Emancipation Memorial in Park Square on Tuesday night.

The motion called for bringing in an art conservator “to document, recommend how the bronze statue is removed, supervise its removal and placement into temporary storage.”

It also includes commissioning detailed documentation of the memorial into Commission archives.

The memorial is a copy of the one located in Lincoln Park in Washington, DC. Freed slaves paid for that statue while “white politician and circus showman Moses Kimball financed the copy in Boston.”

Not that it matters, but it’s important to note that the freed slaves only paid for the one in DC.

Boston media said that the design has made people uncomfortable for awhile. It was not designed by blacks and people “objected to the optics of a Black man kneeling before Lincoln.”

The black man, modeled after Archer Alexander, has broken shackles. It looks like Lincoln is holding out his hand to lift him up.

But before we say Boston pandered to the mob I have to remind you that the city kept the statue on its “radar at least since 2018, when it launched a comprehensive review of whether public sculptures, monuments and other artworks reflected the city’s diversity and didn’t offend communities of color.”

Frederick Douglass was the keynote speaker at the dedication of the one in DC. He had some hard truths for those who place Lincoln on a pedestal, reminding everyone his motives were not so pure, but in the end, slavery came to an end (emphasis mine):

“Truth compels me to admit, even here in the presence of the monument we have erected to his memory. Abraham Lincoln was not, in the fullest sense of the word, either our man or our model. In his interests, in his associations, in his habits of thought, and in his prejudices, he was a white man.”

“If I could save the union without freeing any slave, I would do it; and if I could save it by freeing all the slaves, I would do it; and if I could save it by freeing some and leaving others alone, I would also do that.” Douglass said that Lincoln “strangely told us that we were the cause of the war”—in 1862, Lincoln had told African-American leaders visiting the White House, “But for your presence amongst us, there would be no war.”

“It was enough for us that Abraham Lincoln was at the head of a great movement, and was in living and earnest sympathy with that movement”

The mob also wants DC to remove the one in Lincoln Park.

A Douglass descendent came out against the removal. His great-great-great-grandson Kenneth B. Morris, Jr., spoke to FOX 5 DC:

Kenneth B. Morris Jr. says his wanting to keep the statue in place has to do with the history around it, which includes who paid for it — and the important speech his great-great-great-grandfather Frederick Douglass gave at the unveiling of the statue.

“I don’t put this statue in the same category as Confederate monuments that were put up in the early 19th century as badges of servitude, badges of white supremacy,” he said in a Zoom interview from the West Coast.

He tells FOX 5 he would like to see another statue or something added alongside it that would tell the story how Black people in America liberated themselves.

“When we look back at the history of this country, Black people self-liberated themselves and that’s not a story that has been told properly,” said Morris.

But alas we are shown once again this isn’t just about the Confederacy memorials and statues.

It’s another reason why you cannot give in to the mob. Give them an inch they go 500 miles and then 500 more.

[Featured image via YouTube]

 

 
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