CENTRAL PARK —New Yorkers are calling on the city to remove a monument of a medical surgeon who experimented on female slaves.
Dr. J. Marion Sims revolutionized the field of surgery, but he did so at the expense of female slaves. He operated on them against their will and without anesthesia.
“They’re not mentioning what the actual person really did,” said Bronx resident Shaun Vernon after he spotted the monument in Central Park.
Residents have been debating the fate of Dr. Sims’ monument for seven years. That debate came back into the spotlight after the events in Charlottesville.
The country’s feverish disapproval of Confederate statues is spreading to monuments of other historical figures.
The fight in Central Park received a strong endorsement Monday from City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito. She called the statue tasteless and called Sims' experiments horrific.
"[His experiments] are a stain on our nation’s history,” said Mark-Viverito.
Supporters of Confederate history argue we are on a slippery slope. They say taking down these statues means “erasing history."
Some people are suggesting a compromise - keep the statues up, but add context to the monuments.
“Context would be nice because that would start a conversation at the statue," Vernon said. "Maybe that would help. Rather than take it down, maybe add something. A true history - facts."