A statue of Frederick Douglass was ripped from its base and damaged beyond repair in New York … and the timing makes it look like revenge for the recent toppling of Confederate monuments.
The famed abolitionist’s statue was torn down Sunday in Rochester’s Maplewood Park, a site along the Underground Railroad where slaves were ushered to freedom with the help of Douglass and Harriet Tubman.
Police say the statue was found 50 feet from its pedestal and suffered damage to the base and a finger.
The damage is bad enough that another statue will have to take its place … according to Carvin Eison, a leader of the project that brought the statue to the Rochester park.
The act of vandalism took place on the anniversary of one of Douglass’ most famous speeches — “What to the Slave is the Fourth of July” — delivered in the city on July 5, 1852.
In the speech, Douglass called the celebration of Independence Day a sham in a nation that enslaves and oppresses Black citizens. Douglass said to a slave, the day “reveals to him, more than all other days in the year, the gross injustice and cruelty to which he is the constant victim.”
Eison believes the statue being toppled might be a retaliatory act due to the “national fever over Confederate monuments right now,” and called it disappointing.
He adds that another monument should go up immediately so “whoever did this knows that we are not going to be deterred from what our objective is, and our objective is to continually celebrate Frederick Douglass.”