“We’re not being revisionist, we’re not waging war on history,” Barron said. “We’re saying that we want to make sure that the total story is told.”
“Thomas Jefferson was a slaveholder who owned over 600 human beings,” Councilmember Adrienne Adams, co-chair of the Black, Latino and Asian Caucus, said in a presentation before the commission. “It makes me deeply uncomfortable knowing that we sit in the presence of a statue that pays homage to a slaveholder who fundamentally believed that people who look like me were inherently inferior, lacked intelligence, and were not worthy of freedom or rights.”
Some members of the Public Design Commission pushed back on the proposal to loan a public statue to the historical society, which charges admission to its Upper East Side museum.
The Commission voted to find a suitable public location for the statue outside of the council chambers by the end of the year.