County leader wants Jackson statues removed from courthouses
The Associated Press
KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Jackson County Executive Frank White plans to ask county officials to remove statues of Andrew Jackson that stand in front of two county courthouses.
White issued a statement about the statues late Thursday, shortly after two men were arrested when the Jackson statue in front of the county courthouse in Kansas City was vandalized.
The statue was spray-painted with expletives and the words "Slave Owner." The vandalism comes as statues of historic figures have been defaced and torn down across the country during demonstrations against racial injustice.
People who come to the courthouses in Kansas City and Independence are greeted by statues honoring a man who was a slave owner, opposed abolishing slavery and forced thousands of Native Americans off their land so white settlers could move in, White said.
"As long as these statues remain, our words about fairness, justice and equality will continue to ring hollow for many we serve," White said.
White plans to ask the Jackson County Legislature to form a committee and hold public hearings to discuss removing the statues.
"I welcome the opportunity to work with the Legislature and fellow elected officials to find a better home for these statues where their history can be put into the appropriate context for us to learn from, but I am convinced that home is not in front of our courthouses," White said.