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.
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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.”