CLEVELAND – He sits thoughtfully, thoughtfully, gazing darkly into the distance, his hands holding a newspaper. Thomas Jefferson is perched high on a chair in a gray-green statue on the steps of the Old Cuyahoga County Courthouse. Does her sober expression betray a fear the county might remove her statue, just as New York City recently announced it would to express its revulsion at Jefferson’s enslavement of African Americans?
The New York City Public Design Commission’s decision to remove the statue from the City Council Chamber – to knock Jefferson off his legendary pedestal – raises fundamental questions about preserving historical memory and how best to deal with them. national heroes whose ideas changed the world, but were human beings, endowed by their Creator with a multitude of flaws.