A museum ostensibly dedicated to honoring the memory of women’s-rights hero Susan B. Anthony has instead chosen to score partisan political points by rejecting a pardon from President Donald Trump on her behalf.
The National Susan B. Anthony Museum in Rochester, New York, snubbed the pardon on Twitter, taking the liberty of channeling what it supposed would be Anthony’s thoughts 114 years after her death. “On news of the presidential pardon for Susan B. Anthony on August 18, 2020: Objection, Mr. President. Susan B. Anthony must decline your offer of a pardon today!”
Anthony wrote in her diary in 1873 that her trial for voting was “The greatest outrage History ever witnessed.” She was not allowed to speak as a witness in her own defense, because she was a woman. Judge Hunt dismissed the jury and pronounced her guilty.
— S. B. Anthony Museum (@SusanBHouse) August 18, 2020
Trump announced the posthumous pardon on Tuesday, granting clemency for a “wrongful and unjust conviction” against Anthony, who was arrested for voting in an 1872 election. The pardon paid tribute to Anthony’s heroic perseverance and leadership in fighting for women’s suffrage, according to a White House statement. It also raised awareness of Anthony.
“She was never pardoned,” Trump said Tuesday, after also signing a proclamation commemorating the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment’s ratification, which gave women the right to vote. “Did you know that? What took so long?”
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The mainstream media was quick to speculate that the pardon may have gone against Anthony’s wishes, with CNN quoting an historian as saying asking for her conviction to be expunged would be tantamount to admitting she’d done something wrong. New York’s Democrat Lt. Governor Kathy Hochul agreed, saying Trump must rescind his pardon.
As highest ranking woman elected official in New York and on behalf of Susan B. Anthony’s legacy we demand Trump rescind his pardon.
She was proud of her arrest to draw attention to the cause for women’s rights, and never paid her fine. Let her Rest In Peace, @realDonaldTrump.
— Kathy Hochul (@LtGovHochulNY) August 18, 2020
The Rochester museum took the rejection to another level, saying that to truly honor Anthony, one should: oppose voter suppression; enforce and expand the Voting Rights Act; and ensure that states respect the Constitutional amendments that enshrined the rights of freed slaves and the voting rights of blacks and women. The museum went on: “Support for the Equal Rights Amendment would be well received,” and “Advocacy for human rights for all would be splendid.”
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Twitter users inferred an anti-Trump bias behind the museum’s response. “In other words, she should have been pardoned long ago, an act the museum would have applauded had it come from anyone else,” one netizen said. Another said: “You guys are like the judge who overstepped his authority by declaring (Anthony’s) guilt. Trump had the authority to pardon and apparently you guys think you have the authority to refuse. Liberals are so dumb – can’t see the irony in what they do.”
In other words, she should have been pardoned long ago… an act the museum would have applauded had it come from anyone else.
— Mike Gilbert (@mike_gilbert) August 19, 2020
While some Democrats were content to spurn the pardon simply because it came from Trump, others even turned to criticizing Anthony after the president praised her.
The New York Times said Anthony is “an increasingly divisive figure, adopted by anti-abortion forces and criticized for relegating black suffragists to the sidelines.” Leftist media outlet NowThis said Anthony didn’t deserve to be honored by women voters because of her “ruthless racial bias.”
Here’s why Susan B. Anthony doesn’t deserve your ‘I Voted’ stickers pic.twitter.com/EiP0WUPvN7
— NowThis (@nowthisnews) August 18, 2020
Conservative radio host Ben Shapiro was astonished by the reaction. “I mean, these jokers just tried to cancel Susan B. Anthony because Trump said nice things about her,” he said on Twitter.
I mean, these jokers just tried to cancel Susan B. Anthony because Trump said nice things about her. He has extraordinary power to get people cancelled. He should use it for good by praising Robin DiAngelo or something.
— Ben Shapiro (@benshapiro) August 18, 2020
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