A sculpture memorializing one of World War II’s most iconic statesmen has been removed from the Oval Office for the second time, and a bust of a Latino activist now replaces it.
The original bust adorning the Oval Office is now in the process of traveling back to the British embassy.
President Joe Biden stripped the bust of former United Kingdom Prime Minister Winston Churchill shortly after being inaugurated Wednesday. In its place, a model of labor leader Cesar Chavez now sits in the Oval Office.
The bust of Churchill was loaned to the United States from 2001-2009 during the term of former President George W. Bush, according to The National.
Former President Barack Obama caused controversy during his presidency when he replaced the bust loaned to Bush with one of Martin Luther King Jr. In 2016, Obama explained he still had a second bust of Churchill outside his office in the private residence, according to The Washington Post.
The bust loaned to Bush again became a prominent part of the office after former President Donald Trump stepped in.
Churchill rose to worldwide recognition in the early days of World War II.
Taking over from previous Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain, whose appeasement gave Adolf Hitler momentum in Europe as the dictator was allowed to gobble up the land of surrounding nations, Churchill stood as the most defiant face on his continent.
Facing the full might of the Axis powers, Churchill shepherded England through a series of devastating bombings, air raids and rocket attacks.
While the United Kingdom would eventually lose its empire in the post-war fallout, Churchill’s leadership ensured the county remained a free and independent beacon during one of Europe’s darkest times.
The sculpture has now been sent to the British embassy according to normal protocol.
In the room where the World War II icon once rested now sits a bust of labor leader and Latino activist Cesar Chavez.
Chavez, an icon for the progressive left, founded the United Farm Workers Union and would often use his power and influence to organize agriculture workers in the United States.
While the left has a love affair with Chavez, his thoughts on immigration aren’t often mentioned.
Although a Latino activist, Chavez was rabidly against illegal immigration because of the disastrous effect it had on members of his union — who were already struggling to live under low farm wages.
It’s unclear if Biden is aware of the labor leader’s problematic views on immigration.
President Biden’s choice to swap the bust of a World War II legend to that of a local labor leader ultimately boils down to personal taste. The White House is the president’s abode, and he’s free to decorate it how he chooses.
But although the metal statue itself won’t have an immediate effect on our country, the same thinking that saw Churchill swapped for Chavez will be responsible for directing the nation for the next four years.
With Biden’s changes only just beginning, we’re sure to see more upsetting shake-ups than this one.
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