For centuries, a racist bitch could count on the United States government to reward their inhumanity with statues bearing their likeness, thus ensuring that history would look kindly upon their involvement with slavery and imperialism, while failing to reckon with either institution or the inherited violence left in their wake.
That tradition appears to be nearing its end. Prompted by George Floyd’s murder at the hands of Minneapolis police and the global uprising against white supremacy that followed, people all over the world are tearing down, attempting to topple, or otherwise defacing these monuments to a world that simply can no longer stand—well, some people are. Others, like those white vigilantes in Philadelphia, are picking up their guns, bats, and golf clubs to defend their local statue of Christopher Columbus and, implicitly, the power his colonialist legacy grants them. Elsewhere, however, British slave trader Edward Colston has fallen, Belgian King Leopold II has been removed, Confederate General Robert E. Lee is coming down, and American statesman Daniel Webster has been called out by name as the little racist bitch that he was.
On Monday night, a group of Black Lives Matter activists tagged the bronze Webster statue standing in Central Park. Commissioned by New York City millionaire Gordon W. Burnham in the 1870s, the monument’s stone base bears a message reading: “Liberty and union, now and forever, one and inseparable.” It’s a reference to how Webster, a lawyer who served in Congress in the early-mid 19th Century and later as Secretary of State, played a key role in passing the Compromise of 1850, a purportedly unifying set of bills that both furthered the continuance of slavery in the U.S. and deputized the white citizenry under the Fugitive Slave Act to hunt down Black people who’d successfully escaped their bondage and hand them over to the state. Now, thanks to that group of activists, and some blindingly hot pink paint, the base now reads “RACIST BITCH,” “RACIST FUCK,” and “RACIST,” with a “FUCK NYPD” thrown in for good measure.
“Daniel Webster supported slavery in the South throughout his long racist bitch political career,” one of the activists tells Jezebel. “He ensured the passage of the Compromise of 1850, which enacted a series of fugitive slave laws and allowed slavery in the new U.S. territories after the Mexican-American War. Fuck racist scum. Fuck the NYPD. Black lives matter.”
Check out the Webster statue’s sick new makeover below, courtesy of the activists involved.