ROCHESTER, New York – A statue of famed black American social reformer Frederick Douglass was destroyed over the Fourth of July weekend.
The monument sits in Maplewood Park in Rochester, New York.
“The base and lower part of the statue was damaged, as was a finger on the statue’s left hand,” the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle reported. “There is historical significance to the timing of the vandalism — though no one can now say whether the timing was mere happenstance — just as there is historical significance to the statue’s very location. The Maplewood Park location includes Kelsey’s Landing, where Douglass, Harriet Tubman, and others helped shuttle slaves to safety along the Underground Railroad.”
The discovery of the vandalism comes anniversary of a speech Douglass gave on Independence Day in 1852. It was the speech where he said: “The fact is, ladies and gentlemen, the distance between this platform and the slave plantation, from which I escaped, is considerable — and the difficulties to be overcome in getting from the latter to the former, are by no means slight. That I am here to-day is, to me, a matter of astonishment as well as of gratitude.”
“This, for the purpose of this celebration, is the 4th of July,” Douglass later added. “It is the birthday of your National Independence, and of your political freedom. This, to you, is what the Passover was to the emancipated people of God. It carries your minds back to the day, and to the act of your great deliverance; and to the signs, and to the wonders, associated with that act, and that day.”
The Douglas statue is the latest in a string of monuments to be destroyed. While it is not known who damaged the Douglas statue, most of the destruction across the country been done by primarily white, far-left rioters.
In recent weeks, mobs have damaged or knocked down carvings of former Presidents George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Ulysses S. Grant, and Andrew Jackson. Monuments honoring Abraham Lincoln have also been vandalized in various locations.