Jackson County votes to keep Jackson statues

November 4, 2020 GMT

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Jackson County voters have rejected a proposal to remove two statues of President Andrew Jackson that stand in front of the county’s two courthouses.

Activists pushed to have the two statues removed because Jackson was a slave owner who also signed a law in 1830 that forced Native Americans east of the Mississippi River to move west, causing thousands of them to die.

The proposal to take down the statues failed Tuesday with about 59% opposed and 41% in favor.

Racial injustice protests across the country this year led to the removal of several statues of famous U.S. leaders who had racially problematic backgrounds.

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Jackson County was named after Jackson in 1826 after he became famous as a general in the U.S. Army. He was president from 1829 to 1837.

The statues were erected in Independence and Kansas City in the early 20th century.

Jackson County Executive Frank White said in a statement Tuesday that he continues to believe the statues should be removed and he looked forward to “engaging in more opportunities to eliminate racism and discrimination in Jackson County as we continue the fight for equal rights and justice for those we serve.”