A crowd gathered around the Emancipation Memorial in Washington, D.C., Tuesday night vowed to return en masse on Thursday evening to destroy and tear down the statue of former President Abraham Lincoln.
The memorial, erected in 1876 and paid for entirely by freed slaves, was dedicated by Frederick Douglass, a former slave and famous abolitionist. Some today, though, have deemed the statue racist because it shows Lincoln standing next to a freed slave, who is kneeling.
“To achieve true justice, we are not working with the police, nor will we seek any relationship with them,” wrote the mob, according to WUSA-TV. “In order to create change, we will do so by any means necessary. If you want a revolution, it won’t happen by being peaceful.”
There were, however, a handful of people who disagreed with the violent protesters.
One dissenter was a black pastor, who, according to a video posted on Twitter, expressed frustration at protesters judging other people by the color of their skin and argued destroying statues — particularly one built for, funded by, and dedicated to freed slaves — is not helpful.
After one protester claimed they are “not dividing people at all,” the pastor pointed out that many of them continue to make sweeping generalizations about all “white people.”
“We have to be mindful of the words we use,” she said.
A lot of people applauded the woman and someone off-camera told her, “God bless you.” There were, though, plenty of other divisive protesters who sneered at her as she walked away.
There are also growing calls for a replica of the memorial, which has been in Boston for more than 100 years, to be torn down. Boston Mayor Marty Walsh, a Democrat, is considering removing the memorial after a petition claiming the statue is racist garnered thousands of signatures.
“I’ve been watching this man on his knees since I was a kid,” wrote Dorchester native Tory Bullock. “It’s supposed to represent freedom, but instead represents us still beneath someone else. I would always ask myself, ‘If he’s free, why is he still on his knees?’ No kid should have to ask themselves that question anymore.”