Students at the University of Missouri at Columbia are debating the appropriateness of a statue of Thomas Jefferson on campus. A petition was recently created urging the removal of the statue. The petition notes that while Jefferson is known as a proponent of equality, he was a slaveholder and held racist and sexist beliefs. "Thomas Jefferson’s statue sends a clear nonverbal message that his values and beliefs are supported by the University of Missouri. Jefferson's statue perpetuates a sexist-racist atmosphere that continues to reside on campus," the petition says.
College Republicans have countered with a #standwithJefferson hashtag on Twitter, demanding that the statue remain in place. Defenders of the statue have also draped an American flag around it (above right) for events at the site of the monument.