Group wants Hofstra’s Thomas Jefferson statue removed

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Ja'loni Owens is among a group of students organizing a protest against the statue. She says she has received death threats. Ja'loni Owens is among a group of students organizing a protest against the statue. She says she has received death threats.
HEMPSTEAD -

A group of students wants a statue of Thomas Jefferson removed from campus at Hofstra University.

The Founding Father owned about 200 slaves, and the students say that means his likeness should be removed from the entrance to the school's student center.

"Slavery and rape and eugenics cannot be outweighed by anything that you do as a person once you own people and treat them like currency," says Ja'loni Owens, who is among a group of students organizing a protest against the statue.

Owens says different student groups have sought the statue's removal for more than a decade. She says she wants it moved to a museum on campus.

"We're asking that when we retell history that we tell all of it, not just the parts that are most comfortable," she says. "Not just the parts that are convenient to look at or don't force anybody to have to critically about the nation's founding."

Hofstra University released a statement addressing the upcoming protest, which is scheduled to take place at midday in front of the statue on March 30.

"We look forward to continuing a civil exchange of ideas and perspectives on the subject," the school says.

As for Owens, she says she's received death threats in her Hofstra email inbox since news of the protest made national headlines.

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