HEMPSTEAD, N.Y. (AP) — Some students at New York’s Hofstra University want a Thomas Jefferson statue removed because Jefferson was a slave owner who believed black people were inherently inferior to whites.
Student Ja’loni Owens started a Change.org petition demanding that administrators of the university on Long Island remove the statue and “no longer display it on campus.”
Owens and other student activists are planning a Friday protest in front of the statue.
Although he wrote that “all men are created equal,” Jefferson owned more than 600 slaves over the course of his life.
Jefferson believed that black and white people could never live peacefully together because black people were racially inferior.
Hofstra administrators said in a statement they “look forward to continuing a civil exchange of ideas and perspectives on the subject.”