Oldest Monument to Columbus Vandalized in Protest of White Supremacy

Pauline Gross
August 23, 2017

The statue of Christopher Columbus in the middle of Columbus Circle is now at the center of controversy. A bill in the Baltimore City Council that called for changing Columbus Day to a holiday for indigenous peoples and Italian-Americans failed to pass in the council's final session of 2016.

Monuments and tributes to the Confederacy are at the forefront of the national conversation after violence erupted over plans to remove a statue of Gen. Robert E. Lee in Charlottesville, Virginia, on August 12. Community groups have called for the removal of the Sims statue, noting his history of conducting gruesome medical experiments on slaves without anesthesia. "We have to look at it thoroughly".

Mayor Bill de Blasio shed some light Tuesday on the city's efforts to address growing concern over controversial statues and memorials throughout NY. "There are still to this day conversations happening because of the monuments, other Columbus statues, being talked about", she said.

Mark-Viverito voiced her concern over Columbus while denouncing another statue-that of Dr. J. Marion Sims, which sits near the intersection of 103rd Street and 5th Avenue at an entrance to Central Park.

In Annapolis, state officials followed suit and removed a Taney statue there early Friday morning.

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On Monday, de Blasio told reporters that he would not comment on any specific statue but acknowledged that the Sims statue is among the ones that will be examined.

De Blasio said the commission will weigh the facts and consider input from New Yorkers as well as stakeholders involved with the memorials in question.

Brooklyn Councilman Jumaane Williams, a City Council speaker candidate who is also said to be considering a run for governor, took to Twitter today to express his support for the proposal.

Between the footage of activists attacking the monument are illustrations of Columbus and his men observing dogs attacking the indigenous population, or watching the natives being mutilated.

Meanwhile, also on Tuesday, Brooklyn Congresswoman Yvette Clarke, Brooklyn Congressman Hakeem Jeffries and Brooklyn Congresswoman Nydia Velázquez held a rally with community leaders urging the Department of the Army to rename two streets - General Lee Avenue and Stonewall Jackson Drive - at Fort Hamilton that are now named for confederate generals.

Other reports by GizPress

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