Christopher Columbus statues beheaded in Boston, toppled in Richmond
Monuments across the country are under siege as activists decry their racist roots.
Christopher Columbus may still have an official holiday but in Boston, the statue that commemorates him no longer has a head. Activists beheaded the deeply unpopular statue in the city’s North End neighborhood Tuesday night, and the city’s mayor says it will now be temporarily removed.
— TIME (@TIME) June 10, 2020
“We’re going to be taking the statue down this morning, putting it into storage to assess the damage,” Mayor Marty Welch said to reporters at a press conference.
“This particular statue has been the subject of repeated vandalism here in Boston. And given the conversations that we’re certainly having right now in our city of Boston, and throughout the country, we’re also going to take time to assess the historic meaning of the statue.”
In Richmond, Virginia a statue of Columbus at Byrd Park was lit on fire, toppled and thrown into the pond after a celebration for indigenous people. The city’s African American mayor Levar M. Stoney said that while he agreed that Columbus was no heroic figure he wanted the calls to remove the statue to be handled in a more orderly fashion and was making plans to do.
Working with Richmond’s History and Culture Commission, we are establishing a process by which Richmonders can advocate for change to the figures we place on public pedestals across our city in a legal and peaceful way. 2/2
— Levar M. Stoney (@LevarStoney) June 10, 2020
In a statement, The Richmond Indigenous Society said, “We stand in solidarity with black and brown communities that are tired of being murdered by an out-of-control, militarized and violent police force.”
Despite calls for the removal of all Confederate statues and for military bases named after Confederate generals to be renamed, Donald Trump, the military’s Commander In Chief, does not support it. He said in a tweet that he won’t even consider it.
…history of Winning, Victory, and Freedom. The United States of America trained and deployed our HEROES on these Hallowed Grounds, and won two World Wars. Therefore, my Administration will not even consider the renaming of these Magnificent and Fabled Military Installations…
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 10, 2020
Many on Twitter had no patience with Trump’s decision to preserve any remaining symbols of the Confederacy which were the states that tried to secede from the U.S. In the Civil War. One Twitter user summed it up:
Why do we have confederate statues in the first place? The confederates were traitors that went to war with their own country in an effort to continue human slavery.
— D∆X #BlackLivesMatter (@Dax_x98) June 10, 2020
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