Hofstra University Students Debate Possible Removal of Thomas Jefferson Statue

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Hofstra University’s campus has a statue of Thomas Jefferson, one of America’s Founding Fathers and who is well-known for his academic pursuits, intellect and role in the crafting of the Declaration of Independence. But, it came to light in 1998 that he may have fathered a child with one of his slaves, per claims from one of his slaves’ descendants.

Since those claims, and in today’s polarized political society, there have been calls to remove statues of Founding Fathers who owned slaves, as in this case with Thomas Jefferson’s statue at Hofstra.

Students at Hofstra debated whether to keep the Jefferson statue on campus grounds, on public display, or to remove it. There was a debate was held indoors, when it was originally scheduled to be outside, and media access was restricted.

Proponents of removing the statue hurled names and accusations at their opponents, often portraying statue supporters as enablers of white supremacism, per a video of the debate.