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New York City may remove George Washington, Columbus and many other statues

New York Mayor Eric Adams on Feb. 17, 2022. (Kena Betancur/AFP/Getty Images/TNS)
September 23, 2023

In the midst of a financial storm brewing over New York City as it faces a daunting migrant crisis, its leaders are considering the removal of George Washington statues and a reparations task force.

On the city council’s agenda for Tuesday, officials had scheduled proposals that could significantly reshape the city’s relationship with its past, including the removal of statues of influential American figures, according to Fox News.

The council’s Cultural Affairs Committee was expected to host a public hearing on a significant measure that would remove artistic works located on city property that “depicts a person who owned enslaved persons or directly benefited economically from slavery, or who participated in systemic crimes against indigenous peoples or other crimes against humanity.”

The city’s sweeping criteria encapsulates notable historical personas like George Washington, pioneering Dutch governor Peter Stuyvesant and the famed explorer Christopher Columbus.

READ MORE: NYC may house 95,000 migrants in Central Park and other parks

Under the proposal, if the Public Design Commission (PDC) chose not to remove certain works of art, an “explanatory plaque” would accompany the artistic piece to provide context. Furthermore, a plan would be set in place to work closely with the Department of Education to place descriptive plaques near schools named after any individual meeting the criteria.

Another pressing item that was listed on Tuesday’s docket was the formation of a reparations task force. The task force would be responsible for considering “the impact of slavery and past injustices for African Americans in New York City and reparations for such injustices,” according to Fox News.

Supplemental proposals recommend “anti-racism” training for city employees and human service contractors. Additionally, there’s a call to erect an informational sign at the intersection of Wall and Pearl Streets, highlighting the location of New York’s inaugural slave market.

Each of the city’s controversial proposals is set against the backdrop of the city’s mounting financial crisis. NYC Mayor Eric Adams sounded alarms last week, anticipating a “financial tsunami” caused by an influx of migrants.

This news article was partially created with the assistance of artificial intelligence and edited and fact-checked by a human editor.