- The Washington Times - Sunday, July 5, 2020

Frederick Douglass was not a slave owner, not a Confederate general, nor even a “white savior” abolitionist.

His statue still was vandalized over the weekend.

A Douglass statue in Rochester, New York — the site of his famous July 4 address — was damaged and removed over the Independence Day weekend, according to news reports backed by social-media pictures from the site.

The statue of the famed 19th-century former slave and antebellum abolitionist had stood at Maplewood Park, Fox-2 news in St. Louis reported.

According to pictures, the statue’s base was gone and bits of it were scattered around the area.

The Rochester Democrat and Chronicle, citing a statement from local police, reported that the statue itself had been taken away, “placed over the fence to the gorge and was leaning against the fence” on the river side.

There was damage to the lower part of the statue and to Douglass’ hand, the newspaper reported.

Douglass is perhaps the most-famous Black abolitionist in American history and his best-known speech is an 1852 Independence Day address to the Rochester Anti-Slavery Sewing Society called “What to the Slave Is the Fourth of July?”

It is frequently read and spoken at Independence Day ceremonies around the country as a reminder of both the imperfections of America’s founders and the nation’s potential to fulfill its promises.

• Victor Morton can be reached at vmorton@washingtontimes.com.

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