New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio has ordered a 90-day review to “look at all statues and monuments that in any way may suggest hate or division or racism, anti-Semitism, any kind of message that is against the values of New York City.”
“People can come forward and point out things that they have concerns about, and the task force we’ll put together in the next few days will evaluate each and every one and will come back with both a sense of a universal standards that we can apply going forward but also specific changes that they suggest should be made, and then I’ll look at that and make decisions accordingly” the mayor said this week. “So I’m not going to comment on each specific one, but to say – I’ll say one thing about that. That is obviously is one of the ones that will get very immediate attention because there’s been a tremendous concern raised about it.”
The mayor said the city would form a task force to review monuments, but it is not clear who will serve on the task force or what monuments will be reviewed. It is also unclear who defines what “may suggest hate.”
There are more than 1,000 monuments, including 300 sculptures, scattered across New York City. Among the famous historical figures memorialized are Christopher Columbus, George Washington and William Tecumseh Sherman.