NEW YORK – Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis, the Republican and Conservative Party candidate for New York's 11th Congressional District (Staten Island-Southern Brooklyn) on June 22 called on Mayor Bill de Blasio and the City Council rethink the effort to remove statues of former Presidents George Washington and Thomas Jefferson from City Hall and to create a committee made up of noted historians to weigh-in on the disposition of the statues. In addition, the five-term Assemblywoman challenged her opponent, Congressman Max Rose and the New York City Congressional Delegation, to define where they stand on the issue.
Malliotakis called the potential removal of the statues, "A direct attack on those that fought against tyranny and who laid the cornerstones of freedom that still guide our nation today.”
Over the course of the past week the Speaker and Members of the New York City Council have called on Mayor de Blasio to take action on the removal of the statue of Thomas Jefferson from the City Council Chambers. The mayor in turn, has ordered the creation of a "Commission on Racial Justice and Reconciliation," headed by his wife Chirlane McCray to decide the fate of the Jefferson statue and one of George Washington also at City Hall.
Malliotakis said, “In recent weeks, America has witnessed mobs in a state of frenzy attack, deface and topple a wide range of statues of historic figures including those of a former President, Thomas Jefferson. Over the past week city officials joined in this frenzy calling for the removal of Presidents Washington and Jefferson from City Hall and the American Museum of Natural History has taken steps to remove the statue of the 26th President, Teddy Roosevelt, from the front of the museum.
“This attack on American history must stop. George Washington and Thomas Jefferson were two of the founders of this nation who fought for our independence from Britain and helped create the greatest experiment in democracy the world has ever seen. It is a direct attack on those that fought against tyranny and who laid the cornerstones of freedom that still guide our nation today. A week from Saturday, July 4th will mark the 244th anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence in a hot and steamy Philadelphia in 1776 and that action led General Washington to command an army of patriots and citizen-soldiers to victory over British and to propel him to become our first president. It also led Thomas Jefferson, James Madison and others to draft the documents that created our nation's guiding principles and enshrined free speech, free assembly, freedom of the press and religious worship as basic tenets of our nation that still survive today. The Declaration of Independence, the Constitution and the Bill of Rights are magnificent documents that have been used as models in emerging democracies around the world.
“None of our heroes, either today or in the past are perfect; they are all humans and they all carry faults. In the cases of Washington and Jefferson they both owned slaves as did ten other of our early presidents. But, that fault must be put in context with their positive actions that emboldened a people to rise-up and create a new nation, that over the course of its history, has evolved into the foremost fighter for freedoms the world has ever seen.”
“It's apparent, that once again, Mayor de Blasio doesn't have the fortitude or inclination to act decisively on this issue. If the mayor feels the need to create yet another commission to study statues and their placement it should be made-up of individuals who have resumes focused on the history of our nation, its founding documents and the role of our city in the birth of our nation and not be made up of social justice warriors or relatives who are known to be considering a run for elective office next year.
“I also call on the New York City Congressional Delegation, including my opponent Rep. Max Rose, all Democrats, to tell us where they stand on the placement of the statues of our first and third Presidents, Washington and Jefferson, in City Hall.”
More information is available online: https://nicolemalliotakis.com.