To be fair, the decision to remove the statue, called Emancipation Group, wasn’t made in the middle of the night by a bunch of 20-somethings with a bit of rope and not much else to do. Boston city officials offered a motion and held a vote on the fate of the statue, which depicts Lincoln standing by a kneeling, freed slave. It can be argued the slave is either stationary or in the process of rising, but either way, he’s definitely crouched. The statue belongs to the city and is on city property, so they definitely have every right to decide if displaying it is in keeping with the shared view of the city.
The Boston Art Commission, on a unanimous vote, decide, “No.”
The commission hasn’t decided when the statue will be taken down, but it will go. It has been there since 1879.
Mayor Martin Walsh said:
“After engaging in a public process, it’s clear that residents and visitors to Boston have been uncomfortable with this statue, and its reductive representation of the Black man’s role in the abolitionist movement.”
Whether people agree with the vote by the Boston Art Commission or not, city officials should be commended for going about this the right way. After all, respecting the vote and voice of the people is the point of the American Experiment.