A town on Long Island said it would take any unwanted statues of George Washington, Thomas Jefferson or Christopher Columbus amid a push by “woke” New York City officials to have them removed from public display due to alleged ties with slavery and the mistreatment of Native Americans.
The town supervisor for Brookhaven, about 70 miles east of Manhattan in Suffolk County, said town officials would cover the cost of dismantling and shipping them.
“You know, I didn’t want to comment on whether that was right or wrong because that’s a decision of the city. But I said, ‘If you’re going to do that, hey, we’ll take the statues,’” Town Supervisor Edward Romaine told The New York Post on Tuesday.
“We look at their accomplishments, what they did for their time and how they contributed to the long arc of history,” he added of the historical figures. “And we would welcome having those statues.”
As New York City is being crippled under monumental budget cuts due to a migrant crisis straining public resources, the city council is planning to consider a series of measures that would, among other things, remove statues of major historical figures like Washington and create a reparations task force.
The items were included in the city council agenda for Tuesday. The council’s Cultural Affairs Committee will hold a public hearing on a measure to remove works of art on city property that “depict a person who owned enslaved persons or directly benefited economically from slavery, or who participated in systemic crimes against indigenous peoples or other crimes against humanity.”
The criteria would include figures like Washington, Dutch governor and New York settler Peter Stuyvesant, as well as Columbus – all of whom have statues throughout the city.
During the meeting, bill sponsor Brooklyn Councilwoman Sandy Nurse, reportedly argued the measure would correct history, not cancel it, adding that some statues could have explanatory plaques installed next to them if the city’s Public Design Commission wouldn’t take them down entirely.
“It’s a reckoning with the historical injustices that continue to haunt our cities,” Nurse said.
In a letter to New York City Mayor Eric Adams, Romaine explained the historical significance of historical figures to the Brookhaven community, which includes Washington touring the town after the Revolutionary War and Founding Father William Floyd once calling Brookhaven home.
“The Brookhaven Town Board knows the importance of our history in bringing us to the place we are today,” the letter said, according to the Post. “If we look through our eyes today and try to judge them for what they did years ago as some people may do they come away with a different view. I look at their contribution to history overall, I look at what they’ve done.”
Brookhaven’s 20 to 25 parks could be where those figures “get the respect that they’re deserving,” Romaine wrote, adding that “we still understand that history is a long arc.”
Fox News’ Bradford Betz contributed to this report.