A committee organized by DC’s mayor recommends that the federal government “remove, relocate or contextualize” dozens of schools, public spaces and monuments.
Mayor of Washington D.C., Muriel Bowser, announced that she will be reviewing a report by the District of Columbia Facilities and Commemorative Expressions that recommends changes to public spaces across the district.
Bowser assembled DCFACES in July to evaluate public spaces “to ensure the namesake’s legacy is consistent with #DCValues.” She announced via Twitter that she has received the report and will be “reviewing and advancing” the committee’s recommendations.
DCFACES’ report asks the federal government to “remove, relocate or contextualize” dozens of schools, building namesakes, parks and memorials.
Among the monuments named were the Columbus Fountain, Benjamin Franklin Statue, Andrew Jackson Statue, Jefferson Memorial, Albert Pike Statue, Washington Monument and George Washington Statue.
A D.C. working group put together by @MayorBowser is recommending that a large number of schools, parks, buildings, and other sites be renamed to better reflect "contemporary D.C. values": pic.twitter.com/ml9abJoM2O
— Martin Austermuhle (@maustermuhle) September 1, 2020
Criteria used for the evaluation included “key disqualifying histories, including participation in slavery, systemic racism, mistreatment of, or actions that suppressed equality for, persons of color, women and LGBTQ communities and violation of the DC Human Right Act.”
Despite their accomplishments and positive impact on American history, the report labels certain memorialized figures as “persons of concern” and they were judged based on these criteria.
It is important that we continue the legacy of our country’s founding fathers and significant historical figures, while carefully recognizing the flaws they had. Because their values are what led us to the nation we are today.
If we allow our current leaders to erase history, we also allow them to erase the virtues and lessons that the important people of our past continue to teach.