Thomas Jefferson Goes Down in Latest Statue Removal

It happened in Portland, Ore., as a peaceful march took place nearby
By Newser Editors,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 15, 2020 8:03 AM CDT

Statues around the country of Confederate leaders and Christopher Columbus are meeting their demise, and now a stone tribute to the third president of the United States has found a similar fate in front of a high school in Portland, Ore. Per the Oregonian, the statue of Thomas Jefferson in front of Jefferson High School was torn off its base Sunday night during a Black Lives Matter rally, though it's not clear if anyone affiliated with the rally had anything to do with it. A KPTV reporter who attended the peaceful event says the statue was taken down after they'd left the area in front of the school for their march to a nearby park, and that someone had informed her as she was walking with the demonstrators that "you're gonna see something different when you get back."

When the attendees got back to the school, the statue was on the ground. "We're taking this city back," a protest organizer told the crowd, per the Oregonian. "One school at a time. One racist statue at a time." Its base had been defaced earlier in the day with graffiti that read "Slave Owner," a reference to Jefferson's hundreds of slaves. Per Portland Public Schools stats, a third of the students at the school are black—the largest percentage of any high school in the state. CBS News notes this is the third statue to be yanked down in Oregon in recent days: The University of Oregon reports two of its own, the "Pioneer Man" and "Pioneer Mother," were torn down over the weekend. (Read more Thomas Jefferson stories.)

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