Posted on July 13, 2021

D.C. Racial Equity Office Rules Lincoln Emancipation Statue Will Widen Racial Inequity

Judicial Watch, July 9, 2021

A government office launched recently to eliminate racial disparities and achieve racial equity in Washington D.C. has determined that installing an Abraham Lincoln Spirit of Freedom Emancipation Statue at the African American Civil War Museum will widen racial inequity even though the council unanimously voted for it and the mayor supports it. In fact, Mayor Muriel Bowser urged the D.C. Council to pass the resolution, known as PR 24-0238, approving the statue’s installation on the public space adjacent to the museum {snip}


Nevertheless, a special D.C. panel created to tackle racism, the Council Office of Racial Equity (CORE), has nixed the idea, writing in a report that “Lincoln’s legacy has long been debated” and the statue will not increase representation of communities of color. The five-page document, officially called Racial Equity Impact Assessment (REIA), delves deeply into the supposed lack of diversity among statues and commemorative works in D.C. and offers a simple conclusion involving the new Lincoln fixture: “Although the overall impact on residents’ lives will be minimal, PR24-0238 would contribute to widening the racial inequity between the number of commemorative works dedicated to white men and those dedicated to Black persons and other persons of color in the District of Columbia.”

The CORE report seems to scold D.C. officials, stating that “commemorative works should be intentional about who is being honored, why they are being honored, and how that representation will inspire future generations.” Under the large, bold heading of “RACIAL EQUITY CONSIDERATIONS” the race council writes that there are at least four statues and commemorative works honoring President Lincoln’s legacy, “which has long been debated,” throughout D.C. It singles out the Emancipation Memorial for being funded by “formerly enslaved men and women” who had no say in the matter. “There is a severe lack of diversity amongst statues and commemorative works in the District of Columbia,” the CORE racial equity assessment states. “In 2019, of at least 115 statues in DC, just six were of American women and only one was of a Black woman, that being Mary McLeod Bethune. Duke Ellington was the only Black native Washingtonian with a statue dedicated in his honor.” {snip}