Statue Of Washington Beheaded at His Own University in DC; Other Attacks and Police Inaction Could Put GWU Landmarks at Risk
The Statue Of Washington Toppled
WASHINGTON, D.C. (June 20, 2020) - Although it's being widely reported that in Portland a statue of Washington was toppled, and in Chicago a similar statue of our first president was covered in graffiti, it has just been revealed that a statute of George Washington was beheaded on the campus of the only university which bears his name, George Washington University [GWU] in Washington, D.C.
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Since a statue of a confederate soldier was also toppled in D.C.'s Judiciary Square last night, and, according to CNN, "police officers were at the scene but did not attempt to arrest any of the protesters," there's reason for concern if not fear that one or more of the many statues and/or other physical tributes to Washington on our campus could be in danger, says public interest law professor John Banzhaf.
Many - including an on-air CNN analyst - have suggested "tearing down all George Washington and Thomas Jefferson statues because they were slave owners" according to a headline, and there has been growing condemnation of the first president because he owned slaves, notes Banzhaf, who says that the risk of similar vandalism may increase when students return to GWU on or about August 31st.
Once students return, there will be a much large number of potential vandals, even if only a very tiny minority of students would be so inclined, he says, while also noting that a campus populated by students would provide much greater cover for young outsiders to infiltrate and then vandalize or even destroy many structures which bear the first president's name.
Stopping Vandalism Might Become A Challenge
Once tens of thousands of students return to the campus in the fall, it might prove nearly impossible for our small campus police force to detect and to then stop vandalism of the many structures on campus which bear Washington's name or likeness.
Moreover, even if our officers came upon such vandalism is progress, they might not be able to stop it by themselves. especially without the help of the Metropolitan police force which reportedly stood by and did nothing last night when vandals tore down the statue in Judiciary Square while the criminal conduct was broadcast for more than 30 minutes on national television.
If police continue to tolerate open and clearly criminal conduct - as they did last night in D.C., and as they are apparently doing in CHAZ in Seattle - more statues and monuments in the District and elsewhere could be at risk, predicts Banzhaf.