The New York Young Republican Club plans to hold a rally in New York City on Sunday in defense of the Theodore Roosevelt statue at the entrance to the American Museum of Natural History.
“We are not afraid of the mob,” Gavin Wax, president of the club, told “Fox & Friends Weekend” on Sunday.
Officials, including Mayor Bill de Blasio, announced last week that the statue will be removed after years of objections that it symbolizes colonial expansion and racial discrimination.
The move comes amid a growing push to remove statues and monuments and other images honoring Confederate soldiers, slave owners, and other controversial historical figures, who have been brought down in states, including Virginia and California, either officially or by the protesters themselves.
Wax explained Sunday that his club “will lead a rally with activists from all five districts to demonstrate in defense of the equestrian statue of Teddy Roosevelt, who greets millions each year as he enters the American Museum of Natural History, which is an institution that I wouldn’t even be there today if it weren’t for the great work of our 26th President, who was a patriot and American icon. “
The bronze statue at the museum entrance in Central Park West since 1940, as reported by the New York Times, shows Roosevelt on horseback with a Native American man and an African man standing next to the horse.
“The American Museum of Natural History has asked to remove the statue of Theodore Roosevelt because it explicitly represents blacks and indigenous people as subjugated and racially inferior,” de Blasio announced last Sunday in a written statement. “It is the right decision and the right time to remove this troublesome statue.”
De Blasio’s statement came as anti-racism protests have continued in major cities, and some turned violent, after the May 25 Minneapolis murder of George Floyd, the African-American man who died after a white police officer He was seen pressing his knee to his neck.
“Make no mistake about it, it is much more than a statue, it is a cultural revolution that is affecting our nation,” Wax said Sunday.
THE ORDERS OF THE GOVERNOR OF NORTH CAROLINA CONFEDER STATUTES WITHDRAWN FROM THE STATE CAPITAL, THE PUBLIC SECURITY OF CITES
“Leftist crowds across the country seek to destroy and erase American history, our traditions, our past, and they will do so under any pretext, be it racial injustice or some other inequity in society.”
He went on to say that “we have to realize that this is really about one thing and one thing only, power, because those who control the past control the future as we have seen throughout history from the revolutionary Jacobins in France to Nazi Germany, the Soviet Union, Maoist China. ”
“So our demonstration today, understanding that it is only a small part of this fight, we hope to send a message to the silent majority, as it is called, throughout the country that they should no longer remain silent and that we have a great history , a great legacy as a nation, “Wax continued, adding that” it is not something to be ashamed of, it is something to be proud of. ”
“We should stand up and defend it,” Wax said.
Museum President Ellen Futter told the Times: “In the past few weeks, our museum community has been deeply moved by the growing movement for racial justice that emerged after the murder of George Floyd.”
“We have observed that the attention of the world and the country has increasingly become statues as powerful and hurtful symbols of systemic racism,” he added. “Simply put, the time has come to move it.”
Wax noted that “there is a lot of hypocrisy.”
He went on to say that “as regards the figures flanking” Rosevelt in the statue, “they are not negatively represented, they stand tall and proud, not subordinate.”
“No matter how innocuous the statue is, the left will always find an excuse to tear it down, disfigure it and destroy it, and we have to get up,” he continued.
Wax said he expects more than 150 people to appear at the rally to defend the statue.
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“We have our numbers, we have history on our side and we are not afraid of the mob,” Wax said.
Frank Miles and The Associated Press of Fox News contributed to this report.