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Over the Fourth of July weekend, a statue of abolitionist Frederick Douglass was ripped from its base in Rochester, NY.

The destruction came on the anniversary of one of Douglass most famous speeches, “What Is The Fourth To The Slave” delivered in that city in 1852.

According to reports, the statue of Douglass was taken on Sunday from Maplewood Park.

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The park is a site along the Underground Railroad where Douglass and Harriet Tubman helped shuttle enslaved people to freedom.

The statue was found at the brink of the Genesee River gorge about 50 feet (15 meters) from its pedestal, according to reports.

There was damage to the base and one of the statues fingers.

Retaliation?

Many statues of Confederate leaders have been forcibly removed around the country.

Bolstered by support of some politicians like Virginia Governor Ralph Northam, protestors have toppled and/or defaced monuments.

However, President Donald Trump has issued up to 10-year punishments for those caught damaging federal monuments.

In Washington, D.C., heavy fencing has been placed around monuments along Constitution Avenue and throughout the city.

However, in 2018, two white male college students in Rochester were arrested for vandalizing a statue of Frederick Douglass.

In Rochester on July 5, 1852, Douglass gave the speech “What to the Slave is the Fourth of July.”

Douglass called the celebration of liberty a farce in a nation that enslaves and oppresses its Black citizens.

To a slave, Douglass said, Independence Day is “a day that reveals to him, more than all other days in the year, the gross injustice and cruelty to which he is the constant victim.”

Carvin Eison, a leader of the project that brought the Douglass statue to the park, told the Rochester Democrat & Chronicle another statue will take its place because the damage is too significant.

“Is this some type of retaliation because of the national fever over confederate monuments right now? Very disappointing, it’s beyond disappointing,” said Eison.