The recent white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, VA, has spurred a debate surrounding the statues of various Confederate generals. Some say that the statues should remain as a reminder of history, while others argue they are symbols of racism and oppression. Most of these statues are, understandably, located in the states that make up the former Confederacy, but there are controversial statues all over the country. For example, in Central Park, a statue of a controversial doctor was vandalized with the word “racist” sprayed across it.
The statue was of Dr. J. Marion Sims, a controversial figure in medical history. While Sims is hailed as the father of modern gynecology, his research did not come without costs. Sims conducted experiments on numerous enslaved women, often without any of form of anesthesia.
Sim’s statue is one of several that New York mayor Bill de Blasio currently has under review for possible removal. CBS New York reports that City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito has said that the statue needs to come down, arguing that it is a racist symbol, due to Sims’ experiments on slaves.
“Under the guise of medical advancement, they were probed, they were tortured and they were dehumanized.’
As is the case with many of the Confederate monuments, there is no clear consensus on what should be done. One New Yorker that CBS spoke to said that he believes the statue should come down because it, and others like it, are “monuments to racism and oppression.”
Another person, however, said that they do not agree with that, arguing that the statues should remain, due to their history and because we have more important things to worry about right now than statues.
‘We don’t know what the circumstances were when they put up the statue, so we have a lot more things to be busy with than taking off statues right now.’
As of right now, the fate of Sims’ statue is unknown. The mayor has said that he will be putting together a panel of experts to determine which monuments should remain and which should be taken down.
For more information, WCBS 880’s report on this incident can be seen below.
Featured image via Getty Images.