Welp, there goes Old Hickory.
The city of Jackson, Mississippi will be removing the statue in front of City Hall of the 7th President of the United States which the city itself was named after.
In a 5-1 decision on Tuesday, the city council voted to take down the statue of Andrew Jackson, but it’s still unclear exactly how that’s going to happen or where the statue will end up.
The Jackson City Council on Tuesday voted to remove its namesake statue of Andrew Jackson from City Hall.
The council voted 5-1 to have the statue, which stands outside City Hall, taken down.
Ward 1 Councilman Ashby Foote, the sole Republican on the council, voted against the removal…
…Councilman Foote explained his vote Tuesday evening.
“I’m a big history buff. The whole idea of tearing down historical statues and monuments is generally a bad idea. We need to understand our history, not tear it down,” Foote said.
The statue was erected in 1968 and dedicated in 1972 and will likely be relocated to a museum.
Mayor Chokwe Antar Lumumba said in a statement after the vote:
While removing a statue does little to change our condition as oppressed people, we should not have to constantly encounter the likenesses of those who profited off of the blood, sweat, and despair of our ancestors or see them immortalized as honorable. When I took office, I found out the name Jackson means “God has shown favor.” So, we want to reclaim the name of our city for that meaning and divorce it from the legacy of a brutal owner of enslaved people who was instrumental in initiating the Trail of Tears against indigenous people. Black people have reclaimed and repurposed names given to our families by slave owners for centuries. This is no different.
Jackson has long been viewed as a controversial figure. He became a national war hero after defeating the British at the Battle of New Orleans during the War of 1812. He was a populist and was a big proponent of individual liberty.
Jackson was also a human being and like all human beings he made mistakes–some of them were atrocious–like founding the Democratic Party (kidding!). He was a slave owner, but clearly, the thing that makes Jackson “problematic” in 2020 is his pushing for the Indian Removal Act of 1830 which forced the migration of Native Americans west of the Mississippi River and led directly to the deaths of thousands of members of the Cherokee tribe along the Trail of Tears.
The thing that this vote does is decide to focus on the negative aspects of Jackson’s life rather than his heroic acts or his focus on individual liberty. It’s a pessimistic view of our former president and one which no human being will be able to endure.
The new Puritanical Lefitsts who hate America revel in that because it allows them to claim moral superiority over individuals who were working toward that lofty goal of a “more perfect union” even if they, as individuals failed in that goal.
But there’s one good thing about this–it was a local decision made by legislators. That’s how these decisions should be made. We should be happy that at least in this case, a mob of miscreants didn’t yank the statue down and toss it in the drink as they did with Christopher Columbus in Virginia.