Few presidents are as beloved on both the left and the right as Theodore Roosevelt, the 26th President of the United States. He is universally loved, for different reasons, by different groups on the ideological spectrum. He is loved by those on the left for his populism and his commitment to the conservation of natural resources. He is loved by those on the right for his spirit of adventurism and unparalleled manliness. But apparently, the Rough Rider is not loved by America’s woke agitators, because they have successfully talked the Museum of Natural History into taking down his image.
The statue, which depicts Teddy Roosevelt on a horse with a Native American on one side and an African on another, was designed to celebrate American diversity. But those looking at it through the lens of Critical Race Theory see it as a sign of racial hierarchy.
The statement from the museum says, “At the same time, the statue itself communicates a racial hierarchy that the Museum and members of the public have long found disturbing.”
In 2017, the statue was vandalized because angry protestors said it demonstrated, “patriarchy, white supremacy and settler-colonialism” (see below):
The museum president, Ellen Fuller, said, “It is not about Theodore Roosevelt who served as Governor of New York before becoming the 26th president of the United States and was a pioneering conservationist.”
Apparently the problem is not with Roosevelt, but only with the depiction of the statue.
Roosevelt’s image at the Museum of Natural History is common-sensical, as he is largely heralded as the “first environmentalist” and advocated for the creation of the National Parks system and conservation of natural resources. But the images of him alongside other races, seemingly in harmony, is too much for those who aspire to foment racial hostilities.
The statue, created in 1939, was made by James Earle Fraser and is called the Equestrian Statue. The statue’s creator said at the time that the depiction of the Native American and African were designed to symbolize two different continents – America and Africa – which were dearly beloved to the outdoorsman.