A statue of Frederick Douglass near the site of one of his most iconic speeches was torn down and damaged beyond repair over the holiday weekend. The act of vandalism occurred on the anniversary of Douglass’ famed “What to the Slave is the Fourth of July” speech in Rochester, N.Y.
As reported by local outlet WROC, the statue’s construction was spearheaded by Carvin Eison, Project director, re-energize the legacy of Frederick Douglass, Frederick Douglass Bicentennial Commemoration, and went up in 2018 at the Maplewood Park site in honor of Douglass, who was a resident of Rochester.
“This is all that is left at this [particular] moment of a monument that we put so much work and thought and love and care into,” Eison said to the outlet, speaking of the base of the statue that remains in the park.
The structure itself was found near the Genesee River gorge about dozens of feet away with damage to one of the statue’s fingers. Eison said that the statue has to be replaced altogether.
“Is this some type of retaliation because of the national fever over confederate monuments right now? Very disappointing, it’s beyond disappointing,” Eison told WROC.
President Donald Trump commented on the statute’s damage, calling it the work of anarchists in a caption of a retweet of a story from Breitbart News regarding the vandalism.