A statue of Theodore Roosevelt on horseback, flanked by a Black man and a Native American man, will soon be taken down at New York City’s American Museum of Natural History. The statue’s removal comes amid weeks of Black Lives Matter protests and as statues connected to the Confederacy and other individuals tied to the subjugation of minority groups have been torn down by protesters and removed by city governments.
The decision to take down the statue at the museum’s entrance was proposed by museum leadership, who say they do not object to the former president himself but rather the composition of the statue and the colonialism it represents, and agreed upon by the city, which owns the museum property. “The American Museum of Natural History has asked to remove the Theodore Roosevelt statue because it explicitly depicts Black and Indigenous people as subjugated and racially inferior,” New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said in a statement. “The City supports the Museum’s request. It is the right decision and the right time to remove this problematic statue.”