Remove monument of Dr. James Marion Sims from NYC Park

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This is a monument of Dr. James Marion Sims, it is part of New York City's Department of Parks and Recreation and it's located on 5th Ave and 103rd Street. Dr. Sims was a gynecologist in the 1800’s who performed brutal experimental surgeries on enslaved African American women. He operated on 10 female slaves, WITHOUT ANY ANESTHESIA in order to treat vesico-vaginal fistula.


Dr. Sims was honored with the statue because—although his accomplishments were achieved by torturing Black women who were enslaved—he is considered the father of modern gynecology. While he certainly made important medical advances, it is appalling that New York City would pay homage to such a horrible man, whose atrocities rival that of a Confederate general.


Due to the acts of domestic terrorism that occurred in Charlottesville, we are having discussions about the need to remove Confederate statues and war memorials on a national level. It is extremely disturbing to learn that New York City—which prides itself on being a progressive city—has a statue of someone who performed brutal experimental surgeries on enslaved African American women. As the country is confronting it’s racist past and removing Confederate statues, we ask that New York City's Department of Parks also remove the statue of this monster.


Excerpt from the Parks Department website:

“This bronze sculpture depicts Dr. James Marion Sims (1813–1883), who has been referred to as the “father of modern gynecology”. Sims has been the subject of much discussion, with some condemning the physician for his medical practices, and with others defending his record within the context of his time.  Sims’ medical advances were achieved through practice of surgical techniques on enslaved Black women, who were his principal subjects in the South where he initially practiced.”


In this quote Black women are described as subjects, which illustrates the complete dehumanization of Black women. We must follow Germany’s example and not honor the Nazi scientists who tortured and experimented on people. We need to destroy any monuments that honor people for evil atrocities such as what this doctor did. This statue must be removed from our NYC Parks.

 



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