Seattle Slave Owner Statue and Insignia Removal

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Since 1909, the sculpture of George Washington has been displayed at the UW-Seattle campus, every day since its installment UW students, its alumni and community members alike have had to walk past this slave owner. George Washington does not deserve to be up on that pedestal as statues are generally seen to commemorate an influential person. This glorification of a slave owner is being done at UW-Seattle's campus with the disregard of its very own students. The American history that is derivative of George Washington is not glorious. This statue, and thus George Washington’s idolization on the UW campus is not only harmful to each and every black student that attends UW but the entire Seattle community as well. George Washington is an appalling and repulsive figure, if you need more examples of this:

  • George Washington's teeth, although many believe that they were made solely of wood, were actually made of ivory, metal, and other human teeth from enslaved blacks. 
  • George Washington at the age of 11 was already a slave-owner, having inherited 11 slaves.
  • By the time George Washington was inaugurated as the first president of America in 1789, George held in bondage over 300 slaves. 

This historical figure that enacted on the means of using blacks for economic exploitation by the dint of slavery is not someone who deserves to be idolized, much less have home on the UW campus. We need to address slave owners for what they are. When he was “protecting American freedom” he was not protecting the freedom of the African American community, in fact, they weren't even deemed human beings to him. This is not a history that we as a nation should be proud of nor have on a pedestal, and as a fellow POC UW student, this is an embarrassment and offensive. There should be no division when it comes to acknowledging the fact that George Washington, a figure who engaged in the subjugation and enslavement of blacks should have no home here on our campus. We have this moment to reconsider who we want to idolize and thus 

  1. Sign this petition to call for the immediate removal of the George Washington Statue and its replacement with the Black Lives Matter fist. 
  2. The renaming of George Washington Lane to George Floyd Lane, in honor of what is now being known as the George Floyd Revolution. 
  3. The renaming of By George Cafe to Juneteenth Cafe, in honor of African American history and the end of slavery, and with this renaming of the cafe the removal of all insignia related to George Washington from the cafe. 

Acknowledgment of the issues that the black community is facing is fragmentary when more can be done from a predominantly white institution and its entities.