Founded in 1821 as Mississippi’s new capital city, Jackson was named for General Andrew Jackson, affectionately nicknamed “Old Hickory”, honoring his heroism at the Battle of New Orleans in the waning days of the War of 1812.
The General would go on to become the seventh President of the United States in 1829, serving two terms until 1837, after being the Territorial Governor of Florida. He also served in the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate representing Tennessee, and was a Justice on the Tennessee Supreme Court. Another statue of Jackson remains, for the time being, in Statuary Hall at the US Capitol.
Now, as the cancel culture revolution is sweeping across America, the City of Jackson is removing the statue of its namesake to focus on “progress and unity.”
In a 5-1 vote Tuesday, the Jackson City Council authorized Mayor Chokwe Lumumba’s administration to remove the statue of Andrew Jackson that stands in front of City Hall. The Mayor supported the removal, noting the former President’s “heinous acts of genocide” in the lead up to the Trail of Tears that relocated American Indians and his being “one of the most brutal slave owners.”
We should not have to constantly encounter the likenesses of those who profited off of the blood, sweat, & despair of our ancestors or see them immortalized as honorable. pic.twitter.com/UjCPiTeDO2
— Chokwe Antar Lumumba (@ChokweALumumba) July 8, 2020
“Statues do not only reflect history, they are meant to be monuments demonstrating that a society reveres the person for which the likeness represents,” Mayor Lumumba said in a statement. “Andrew Jackson is guilty of one of the most heinous acts of genocide that this nation has ever seen. He was also known as one of the most brutal slave owners throughout slavery. And so, as we build a city focused on progress and unity we must make certain that we display images which reflect those aspirations.”
The lone Republican on the Jackson City Council, Ashby Foote, voted in opposition of the removal, saying “The whole idea of tearing down historical statues and monuments is generally a bad idea. We need to understand our history, not tear it down.”
You can watch the full City Council meeting below.