KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Jackson County Executive Frank White formally recommended to county legislators Monday that two statues of Andrew Jackson at the county’s courthouses be removed.
But there doesn’t seem to be consensus on the process to make that happen.
White wants a special committee to conduct public hearings about removing the two statues.
But Theresa Cass Galvin, the chair of the county legislature, said she plans to introduce an ordinance that would put removal of the Jackson statues to a vote of the people in Jackson County. She said the statues don’t belong to the executive or the legislators.
White said he believes removing the statues is not about erasing history but about being on the right side of history.
“Do our policies, practices and symbols truly reflect the type of inclusive community we are?” White asked legislators. “And more importantly the type of community we want to be? The answer is no. The statue of Andrew Jackson outside the two courthouses are symbols of slavery, oppression and death. As long as these statues remain, our words about fairness, justice and equality will continue to ring hollow for many we serve.”
White opposed a move by the legislature earlier to put up plaques on the Jackson statues explaining the former president’s connection to inhumane actions that many now find abhorrent by today’s standards.
White said it was important to get feedback from Native Americans and Blacks, about what was written on the plaques. That never happened.
One legislator claimed White has the authority to remove the statues on his own.
In two weeks, legislators are expected to decide whether the statues’ future is determined by a special committee or a vote of the people.