Statue of Former Longtime Michigan Mayor Removed Following George Floyd Protests

The statue of a former longtime Michigan mayor was removed from its location following the protests of the death of George Floyd.

Erected to commemorate the man who served as mayor of Dearborn for 36 years, the Orville Hubbard statue was removed from its location outside of the Dearborn Historical Museum. Hubbard was a segregationist who served as mayor from 1942 to 1978 and held many discriminatory views against African Americans, Catholics, Arabs, and people of Jewish decent.

Susan Dabaja, president of the Dearborn City Council, stated in a Facebook post that Hubbard's "racist views should never have a place in our town."

As Americans, we know that history can be a painful but effective teacher. Orville Hubbard—someone whose racist views...

Posted by Susan Dabaja on Friday, June 5, 2020

"As Americans, we know that history can be a painful but effective teacher. Orville Hubbard...is one of those lessons for Dearborn. As the Dearborn City Council's first Arab-American President, I am proud of my heritage and my city, and I am proud of the fact that we can acknowledge our history and engage in the dialogue of truth and reconciliation," Dabaja said.

"After several conversations with my colleagues, the administration, and the Hubbard family, his statue is gone. The Hubbard family will place it at his gravesite. And now, let's continue working to make things right through policies that will create meaningful change," Dabaja said.

The statue was moved to its location outside the Dearborn Historical Museum by Mayor Jack O'Reilly in March 2017, to coincide with Hubbard's birthday.

"Orville Hubbard was mayor from 1942 through 1977, which is a long time ago, and also a long time for someone to have served in the same public office. The Historical Museum is the appropriate site to acknowledge his place in Dearborn's history," O'Reilly said in a statement at the time.

Newsweek reached out to O'Reilly for comment on the removal of the statue, but he did not respond back in time for publication.

Protesters gathered and marched through the streets of Dearborn as numerous protests take place across the country in response to the case of George Floyd, who died in Minneapolis after now-former police officer Derek Chauvin knelt on Floyd's neck for nearly nine minutes. Chauvin has since been charged with murder and manslaughter, and the other three officers present during the incident are also in custody facing charges of aiding and abetting murder and manslaughter.

Mary Laundroche, a spokeswoman for the city, released a statement saying that the removal of the statue by the Hubbard family is "a positive development for our community."

"The statue had been a divisive symbol rather than a unifying one. The fact that the Hubbard family was able to move it out of Dearborn now — something they had wanted to do since 2015, when the statue was removed from the former City Hall campus — is a positive development for our community. It will allow our message to be better heard that Dearborn is committed to being a welcoming place for people of goodwill from all backgrounds," Laundroche stated.

This past Wednesday, the city of Philadelphia removed a statue of its late former mayor, Frank Rizzo, who has been regarded as a symbol of racial division during his tenure as police commissioner during the 1960s and 1970s.

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DETROIT, MICHIGAN - MAY 31, 2020 --- Protesters gather and speak in front of the Detroit Police station, Michigan on May 31, 2020. (Photo by SETH HERALD / AFP) (Photo by SETH HERALD/AFP via Getty Images) Seth Herald/Getty