Miami. – A self-destructive frenzy that travels the world: throws statues.
Suddenly some people refuse to accept their past as an integrated, contradictory and complex entity.
We humans do the same thing, but at least we have a psychoanalytic alternative to accepting ourselves and living with our darker areas.
By a unanimous vote of his council members, the Thomas Jefferson statue will be removed from the main hall of New York City Hall, as the character “represents some of the most shameful parts of the long and meticulous history of our country.”
Jefferson, in fact, had 600 slaves.
For this reason, the imposing statue of the founding father of the United States, who presided over the New York City Council session hall for more than a century, the third president of this country and former governor of Virginia, was removed.
A statue of him has also been removed in Georgia, another was destroyed in Oregon, and in Charlottesville, his land, since 2019 his birth anniversary was not a holiday.
With this logic and in this step, the name of the capital of the United States could change its name because of the past of slavery for the general who, on the battlefield, won the independence of 13 colonies from the British crown.
Yes, George Washington had just over 300 slaves working on his estates.
This was the world at the time, and figures like Jefferson and Washington (especially the former) rendered great services to humanity, for their glory and the glory of the United States.
It is not the same to cast relics on Jefferson as it is for General Robert E. Lee, who led an armed revolution to preserve the right to enslave other human beings.
If someone were asked to give five names of the most famous people in American history, they couldn’t omit Thomas Jefferson.
He was the author of the Declaration of Independence of this country.
And on that founding document, Jefferson concluded: “We take these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal; that their Creator has endowed them with certain inalienable rights; that among them are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, so as to guarantee these rights between men and governments.”
It was from there that French General Gilbert de Lafayette took to the idea that he would, more than a decade later, form the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen in the French Revolution.
There is an important nuance, in the Declaration of Independence Jefferson says “They are created equal,” and Lafayette writes “They are born equal.”
Of course, it is paradoxical for Jefferson to refer to men as created equal, with inalienable rights, to life and the pursuit of happiness, while on his plantations he had enslaved people forcibly uprooted from their villages in Africa.
Is this a reason to remove the bronze image of the promoter of the separation of church and state in the American Federation from its bases?
of course not. Rather, it feels like a self-destructive act of throwing it away.
How illogical it would be for the French to throw down statues of Danton and Lafayette himself, for a revolution that demanded human and citizen rights.
They referred to the man, not in the general sense of the human race, but to the man, to the male, and women were excluded from these rights.
Maximilien Robespierre had to be demolished from his Paris statues because he was a ruthless criminal. However, there is a symbiosis, a guillotine and two executioners: Danton and Robespierre.
This is civic maturity, the assimilation of the contradictions that make up history.
“The Republic will not dismantle any statue,” President Emmanuel Macron said as the paintings began on some monuments outside the National Assembly.
What they do here when they take a statue of Jefferson, or a statue of Theodore Roosevelt that was outside the Museum of Natural History in Central Park, to signify an “apology for colonialism,” is something more than absurd: It’s self-destructive.
Thus, the Roman Colosseum must be demolished because it remembers when citizens enjoyed seeing humans torn alive by starving lions.
Or they would have to throw Octavio from the center of their square, Augusto Imperator, to enslave his neighbors, and agree to dismember his friend Cicero, one of Rome’s greatest sons, who was also carved in marble in the Eternal City.
In the capital of Mexico, Christopher Columbus was removed from the Paseo de la Reforma, due to the anti-Spanish vein of the current rulers. It was not destroyed, only the navigator who opened the door of two worlds was taken away from the central.
The intriguing thing about icon warriors demolishing statues in the name of high human values, is that they honor Fray Bartolomé de las Casas and, fortunately, preserve his monument in Chiapas.
It is, if we believe that Jorge Luis Borges, the protector of the indigenous population was also the father of slavery in America.
It says on the first page of its website Global History of Shame, that Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas, influenced by the exploitation of indigenous peoples in the mines of the Antilles, wrote to the King (Carlos V?) that it was inhuman and Christian to treat them such treatment, and suggested that he had brought blacks from Africa to perform those tasks, as had already happened.
This is the story, a mixture of light and shadow.
So do people: but we do not cut off our leg because we have taken a wrong step.
Down Thomas Jefferson.
And there will be no shortage of those who, by the same argument, take the name Washington from the capital of the United States.
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