IN an e-mail from East Harlem Preservation:
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Our campaign to remove the statue of J. Marion Sims—a white southern doctor who experimented on enslaved Black women without anesthesia or informed consent—continues to gain momentum.
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The campaign has received letters of support from National Advocates for Pregnant Women, East Harlem Council for Human Services, East Harlem Community Health Committee, Mount Sinai Medical Students and Faculty, and others.
Honoring slave-holding “pioneers” is a national indignity that NYC cannot ignore any longer. We maintain that the statue’s presence does a huge disservice to the neighborhood’s majority Black and Puerto Rican residents—two groups that have specifically been subjected to medical experiments without permission or regard for their wellbeing.
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Sims is not our hero. There are many African American and Puerto Rican women and men who have made great medical and scientific contributions that have benefitted our community—Dr. Helen Rodriguez-Trias and Dr. Rebecca Lee Crumpler, to name a few. These are the sheroes we would prefer our children learn about as they stroll in Central Park, confident in the understanding that Black Lives Matter.
We hope that you will join over 1,000 people who have endorsed our campaign to urge the Parks Department to remove the Sims statue. Now, more than ever, as the nation undergoes the erosion of our fundamental rights, it is imperative that New York City stand firm in its commitment to honor and defend its citizens with this symbolic gesture.
For more information go to: East Harlem Preservation, Inc., P.O. Box 763, Hellgate Station, New York, NY 10029
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