By: V4 Agency
The University of Washington’s Black Student Union has launched a petition demanding the removal of the George Washington statue from its Seattle campus, because it “perpetuates white supremacy and preserves its historical imposition”.
The statue is an integral part of the university’s history. It’s the product of a years-long campaign, which raised a total of 6,000 dollars through schoolchildren’s contributions – no more than 5 cents apiece – in order to erect the sculpture. The George Washington statue has stood on campus since 1909.
Additional demands of the student union include that the university sever ties with the Seattle Police Department, disarm campus police, increase funding for the American Ethnic Studies Department, and hire more Black faculty members.
The university management has responded to the 8,000-signature-strong petition by introducing incremental measures from the beginning of the 2020-2021 academic year. Among other steps, they have cut the campus police force by 20 per cent, but did not pledge to remove the statue.
The management proposed that George Washington’s life would be presented on a plague or other such display that would provide a “broader context”, also acknowledging the fact that the founding father was a slaveholder. The student union, however, rejected the proposal, saying that “a plaque isn’t enough”.