Abolitionist, Advisor to President Abraham Lincoln – Frederick Douglass Statue Vandalized in New York Park


ROCHESTER, New York (AP) — Police in Rochester were trying to determine Monday who ripped a statue of abolitionist Frederick Douglass from its base on the anniversary of one of his most famous speeches, delivered in the upstate New York city in 1852.

The statue of Douglass was taken on Sunday from Maplewood Park, a site along the Underground Railroad where Douglass and Harriet Tubman helped shuttle slaves to freedom. The statue was found at the brink of the Genesee River gorge about 50 feet from its pedestal, police said. There was damage to the base and a finger.

As President Donald Trump and others pointed at possible culprits, Rochester Police Chief La’Ron Singletary cautioned that investigators still don’t why the “disheartening” act of vandalism occurred.

“Right now, for me to guess would be pure speculation,” Singletary told reporters at a news conference.

A sign marking a historic Underground Railroad spot sits near the base of a statue of Frederick Douglass which is all that remains, Monday, July 6, 2020 in Rochester, N.Y., after it was found vandalized in Maplewood Park. Police say the statue of Douglass was taken from Maplewood Park and placed near the Genesee River gorge on Sunday. This site includes Kelsey’s Landing, a part of the Underground Railroad, where Douglass, Harriet Tubman and others helped slaves get to freedom via the Genesee River located below adjacent gorge. (Tina MacIntyre-Yee/Rochester Dem via AP)

Singletary said investigators will review camera footage.

In Rochester on July 5, 1852, Douglass gave the speech “What to the Slave is the Fourth of July,” in which he called the celebration of liberty a sham in a nation that enslaves and oppresses its Black citizens.

To a slave, Douglass said, Independence Day is “a day that reveals to him, more than all other days in the year, the gross injustice and cruelty to which he is the constant victim.”

Carvin Eison, a leader of the project that brought the Douglass statue to the park, told the Rochester Democrat & Chronicle another statue will take its place because the damage is too significant.

“Is this some type of retaliation because of the national fever over confederate monuments right now? Very disappointing, it’s beyond disappointing,” Eison told WROC.

Statues depicting Confederate leaders have been toppled or vandalized recently around the nation. But the destruction of a statue honoring the famous abolitionist set off a round of public mourning and finger-pointing on social media.

Trump on Monday tweeted a link to an article about the vandalism and said, without providing evidence, that it “shows these anarchists have no bounds!”

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About the Headline Photo: A replica of a statue of Frederick Douglass sits in the studio of Olivia Kim, a sculptor who worked on finishing three replicas, July 16, 2018 in her Rochester, N.Y. studio. A statue of abolitionist Frederick Douglass has been ripped from its base in Rochester on the anniversary of one of his most famous speeches. Police say the statue of Douglass was taken from Maplewood Park and placed near the Genesee River gorge on Sunday, July 5, 2020. (Tina MacIntyre-Yee/Democrat & Chronicle via AP)




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6 Thoughts to “Abolitionist, Advisor to President Abraham Lincoln – Frederick Douglass Statue Vandalized in New York Park”

  1. John

    This is just simply ignorance on another level. The kids who did this don’t even know who Douglass was. Once you control the language (aka textbooks), you can then control the minds. One good thing I can say about the left, the are extremely good at controlling the language.

    1. Ron W

      Right, John, “they are extremely good at controlling the language” with ignorance, bigotry and false accusations”. And as taught by Saul Alinsky, they “accuse others of what they do” aided and abetted by the leftist media.

  2. Ron W

    Frederick Douglass correctly recognized and identified the chief historical aspect of slavery. It was in the 1857 SCOTUS Dred Scott decision keeping black people as non persons and therefore subject to slavery. The majority opinion by Chief Justice Roger Taney decided that black people could not be persons and citizens lest “they be able to speak publically on politics” (1st Amemendment) and “go armed everywhere they went” (2nd Amendment). He wrote:

    “…while the Legislatures of the South can take from him (the black man) the right to keep and bear arms, as they can … the work of the Abolitionists is not finished.” –Frederick Douglass, speaking to the American Anti-Slavery Society, Macy 1865, Douglass’s address was entitled “In What New Skin Will the Old Snake Come Forth?”

    He was AND IS, absolutely correct. Today, only the geography and slave States have changed and many politicians are working on citizen disarmament. Slaves were and are always disarmed and kept that way! “The Old Snake” is still with us, only in 21st Century “New Skin”.

    “The possession of arms is the distinction between a freeman and a slave. He, who has nothing, and who himself belongs to another, must be defended by him, whose property he is, and needs no arms. But he, who thinks he is his own master, and has what he can call his own, ought to have arms to defend himself, and what he possesses; else he lives precariously, and at discretion.” –James Burgh, 1714-1775, English statesman (before England devolved into disarmed barbarism)

  3. Steve Allen

    This just goes to show how completely stupid and clueless all these people are.

  4. Julie

    No Eison, it was not some kind of retaliation. The snowflakes that pulled it down thought the statue looked like some old white guy and they didn’t know he was a former freed slave.

    1. Ron W

      Julie, you’re very kind in calling them “snowflakes”. They’re ignorant bigotted criminals who, if prosecuted and convicted, will do 10 years in a federal pen.