Aout of sight, out of mind? The long-attacked and repeatedly smeared equestrian statue of President Theodore Roosevelt in front of the American Museum of Natural History in New York will soon be removed. Because the riding bronze president is flanked on his left by a “Person of Color” and on his right by a chief who, according to the sculptor James Earle Fraser, embodies “Roosevelt’s kindness to all races”, associations of the Indians, pardon me, had ” Native “as the I-word is now everywhere and even in the meanwhile politically cleansed Disney comics, since 2016 the dismantling of the monument has been demanded. The “Black Lives Matter” movement has now prevailed. Since the monument belongs to the city of New York, its mayor De Blasio was prompted to publicly announce that the statue had explicitly depicted black and indigenous peoples as oppressed and racially inferior.
Are those standing next to the president automatically inferior?
That would be easy to refute with a look at the history of the equestrian monument – you will not find three equals riding side by side in a monument dedicated to just one person, as the historically comprehensive show “Horse and Rider” in the Upper Palatinate town of Etsdorf shows until the end of September . Especially since both assistant figures as searchers for clues – according to the sculptor – and, above all, weapons bearers perform a prestigious function. But the Solomonic formulation on the previous plaque on the monument – “Some see the statue as a heroic group, others as a symbol of the racial hierarchy” – was not enough. The now soon empty plinth at the Central Park West entrance is not the only one in the museum that refers to the Roosevelt family as supporters of the museum. Inside, too, needs to be tidied up. Does there still exist a seated bronze president and in the classic film “Night at the Museum” his wax figure in her hall not only comes to life; the night watchman, who is much in demand in the film, even befriends him, which is easy thanks to a sympathy in front of the gentleman like the mimes Robin Williams who embodies Roosevelt. A positive portrayal of the incriminated? In the past, this too, the film would urgently need to be cut around the too positive parts in the logic of the monument striker.
In general, trivialization: We have known since Stephen King that some cuddly toys are not as innocent as they seem. As a consequence, however, the cancellers would next have to demand the banishment of Roosevelt’s nickname to the cuddly toy cemetery. Legend has it that the president, named “Teddy” from 1902 on and honored by Margarete Steiff with one made of fabric from 1906 on, did not shoot a single bear while hunting, but at the same time the offer of his companions, at one tied to a tree Indignantly refused to shoot bears. Hunting alone, then a hearty sneak – untenable. It will take at least one more plaque in the museum to save Roosevelt’s residual glory.