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Sun Jul 5, 2020, 04:44 PM

Frederick Douglass statue vandalized on anniversary of his famous Rochester speech

On the same weekend in which famed abolitionist Frederick Douglass 168 years ago delivered one of his most historically resonant speeches, a statue of Douglass was toppled from its base and left near the Genesee River gorge.

Located in Maplewood Park, the statue "had been placed over the fence to the gorge and was leaning against the fence" on the river side, according to a statement from Rochester police. The statue was left about 50 feet from its pedestal.

There is historical significance to the timing of the vandalism — though no one can now say whether the timing was mere happenstance — just as there is historical significance to the statue's very location. The Maplewood Park location includes Kelsey's Landing, where Douglass, Harriet Tubman, and others helped shuttle slaves to safety along the Underground Railroad.

Across the United States, Douglass' July 5, 1852 speech, "What to the Slave is the Fourth of July," has been shared widely on social media and elsewhere as a reminder of the country's legacy of slavery and racism.


Douglass statues in Rochester NY have had a recent history of being defaced & vandalized by individuals who associate sympathies with right wing groups known for their white nationalist viewpoints.

I have little doubt that this “happenstance” will eventually be tied to individuals associated with these local/regional hate groups...

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Reply Frederick Douglass statue vandalized on anniversary of his famous Rochester speech (Original post)
EarthFirst Jul 2020 OP
Sneederbunk Jul 2020 #1

Response to EarthFirst (Original post)

Sun Jul 5, 2020, 04:47 PM

1. So difficult to channel vandalism.

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