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Education History

University Students Say Thomas Jefferson Statue ‘Validates Rape, Sexual Violence, and Racism’

Campus Reform
Written by Campus Reform

Columbia University students recently adorned a Thomas Jefferson statue with a Ku Klux Klan hood to protest “a man who is the epitome of white supremacy.”

Members of the “Mobilized African Diaspora” (MAD) student group subsequently published an open letter saying the statue “validates rape, sexual violence, and racism” and embodies “the same threat that the KKK poses.”

Columbia University students recently adorned a Thomas Jefferson statue with a Ku Klux Klan hood to protest “a man who is the epitome of white supremacy.”

In a “Statement to the University” published Sunday, members of the student group Mobilized African Diaspora (MAD) condemn Columbia for honoring Jefferson’s legacy, calling him “the epitome of white supremacy” and arguing that his statue contributes to the ongoing marginalization of black students.

“Thomas Jefferson never stepped foot on this campus; however, 274 years postmortem, Columbia University continues to celebrate the legacy of a man who is the epitome of white supremacy,” the group complains, noting that 5.4 percent of Columbia students self-identify as black or Native American.

Columbia has just one display of Thomas Jefferson on its campus—a bronze sculpture outside of the journalism school—but other notable figures, such as Alexander Hamilton and Auguste Rodin’s The Thinker, are also memorialized elsewhere on the grounds.

“Columbia University adheres to Jefferson’s brand of hypocrisy because it keeps a physical manifestation of the antithesis to Black women’s lives on the same campus that uses illusions of diversity to recruit students,” the statement contends, adding that “Jefferson’s statue makes it clear that Black students are merely toke…

Read the rest of the story at Campus Reform

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About the author

Campus Reform

Campus Reform

Campus Reform, a project of the Leadership Institute, is America's leading site for college news.
As a watchdog to the nation's higher education system, Campus Reform exposes bias and abuse on the nation's college campuses.
Our team of professional journalists works alongside student activists and student journalists to report on the conduct and misconduct of university administrators, faculty, and students.
Campus Reform holds itself to rigorous journalism standards and strives to present each story with accuracy, objectivity, and public accountability.

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