The internet was in a state of confusion on Sunday after historically Black Hampton University unveiled a brand-new statute on campus honoring former President George H.W. Bush.

Bush, who passed away on November 30, 2018, now has a full-size bronze statue in an area of campus called Legacy Park. According to Hampton's official website, Legacy Park houses monuments of individuals the university believes have championed its mission. There is a bevy of Black heroes honored there, including civil rights leader Rosa Parks and former President Barack Obama. 

However, the addition of 41 is drawing criticism online. 




In a statement honoring Bush in December, Hampton President William Harvey called the former POTUS a "good friend" and ally.

"President Bush was not only a good friend of mine, but he was an extraordinary person who believed it was crucial that African Americans have access to education. I think that’s something that we must acknowledge," Harvey said.

The Philadelphia Tribune reports the two men formed a lifelong friendship when Harvey and Bush worked on initiatives for the United Negro College Fund (UNCF) together. Bush's involvement in the UNCF began while he was an undergraduate at Yale University when he chartered the UNCF chapter at the Ivy League institution. In 1991, Harvey invited then-President Bush to deliver the commencement address at Hampton. 

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch writes Congressman William Lacy Clay (D-MO) plans to request the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) ask Hampton to remove the statue, citing the late president's civil rights record as evidence. 

"When you think about the legacy of President George H. W. Bush it is not one that you can hold up as someone who believed in equal justice for all," Representative Clay said. 

Hampton University has not yet responded to calls for the statue's removal.


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