I couldn’t help but notice one thing missing from your June 26 article, “T.R. statue to stay in front of county HQ.” Specifically, there were no quotes from or mentions of any individual or group that had publicly called for the renaming of the Theodore Roosevelt Executive and Legislative Building in Mineola (or the removal of the statue in front of it).
That’s because there were none. The primary reason the American Museum of Natural History in Manhattan decided to remove their statue was because individuals of Native American and African descent were placed in subservient positions to a Roosevelt on horseback. The Mineola statue merely portrays a standing Roosevelt.
There is no plot to invalidate Roosevelt’s positive contributions to history, and no racial-justice protests that have taken place on the grounds of the executive and legislative building during the last several weeks have focused on its name or statue.
It is abundantly clear that, having burned every bridge with her Democratic base since she took office in 2018, Nassau County Executive Laura Curran is now focused on garnering Republican support for her re-election and feels she can do so by throwing this red meat to the crowd.
Quite frankly, Curran should be ashamed that instead of working to implement concrete, systemic change to our racially biased system of government (including policing and incarceration), she’s instead working to inflame tensions for her own political benefit.
Perhaps this shouldn’t come as any surprise, as Curran has never come through when it really counted. She opposed bail reform, opposed the legalization of adult-use cannabis and cowered before the county’s police and corrections unions when she initially tried to evict U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement personnel from county property.
Curran even caved to pressure to reopen two defunct Nassau County police precincts that her Republican predecessor had ordered closed, despite a dropping crime rate and the fact that the closures had no impact on the number of patrolmen on duty. The millions spent to refurbish, maintain and staff those buildings could have been put to much better use in communities across the county. Instead, the money was spent to make the majority white residents living in the surrounding neighborhoods feel safer.
Curran has proven that she has no genuine interest in correcting racial, social or economic injustice. Based on her past behavior (and this recent decision to drum up controversy where none existed), I doubt she’ll deliver anything other than window dressing in response to her constituents’ cries for substantive change.
New Hyde Park