Author Topic: Statue decolonization  (Read 4240 times)


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Re: Statue decolonization
« Reply #30 on: October 14, 2020, 12:25:06 am »
Next one!

What began Saturday as a three-day “occupation” of the Santa Fe Plaza by Native activists and their supporters culminated on Indigenous Peoples Day with protesters toppling a controversial war monument.

About 50 people used a rope and chains to bring the obelisk down.
Erected in 1866, the Plaza centerpiece, sometimes called the Soldiers Monument and constructed to honor to Civil War Union soldiers, has spurred several demonstrations in Santa Fe this year amid a nationwide call for racial justice.

Native activists and other protesters have long objected to a plaque on one side that said the obelisk was dedicated, in part, to “heroes” who died in battle with “savage Indians.”

The plaque has sustained damage. Decades ago, a man chiseled away the word “savage,” and in late June, part of the plaque was broken off during an act of vandalism.

Webber said just before a planned protest earlier in June that the monument’s removal from the public park was “long overdue.” Following a failed attempt by a state-contracted crew to take down the structure overnight on the eve of the protest, however, Webber had not moved forward to remove it.

Four months later, just before the holiday known as Indigenous Peoples Day in Santa Fe, across New Mexico and in a growing number of U.S. cities and states, Webber released a statement continuing to call for a community conversation about the obelisk’s future.

He said he did not believe he had the unilateral authority to remove it.

After two days of peaceful protests, activists took the matter into their own hands.
“It was a really emotional moment for me. For all that it represents, this type of monument shouldn’t exist,” Cipriana Jurado, 53, an Indigenous woman from Chihuahua, Mexico, said in Spanish.

“There is so much to celebrate here and in Latin America that existed before European culture,” she added.

And more discussion on the wider issue:

As we approach Monday’s national observance honoring Christopher Columbus, I am joined by many fellow Native and non-Native Americans and Washington-area residents in reconsidering Columbus’s actions against Indigenous populations and indeed the justification for honoring and memorializing this complicated and divisive historical figure.

We know the history of Christopher Columbus. He embarked on a very consequential journey in 1492. He was not the first European to visit present-day North America. In fact, he discovered nothing. For Native peoples, his legacy is clear. He murdered, tortured and enslaved the indigenous Taíno, Lucayan, Arawak and Cigüayos. He introduced death and human suffering on a scale unknown to these peoples. In a letter to his benefactor King Ferdinand II of Spain, Columbus described his conquest: “I found many islands inhabited by men without number, of all which I took possession . . . no one objecting.” They did object, and they did fight. Indigenous peoples continue to fight, reclaim, resist, protest, create and, in many cases, thrive.

Columbus’s early incursions across these lands began a 500-plus-year ascendancy of European Christians and their descendants. It is a history of loss and trauma for many that includes the attempted extermination of Native peoples, the abduction and enslavement of African peoples, the continued devaluing of Black life and the institutionalized racism and bigotry that confront those who are Black, Indigenous or people of color. Columbus should be considered the progenitor of white supremacy. Let us remember him for that.

To be clear: Columbus is famous because he was a thief. He took resources, lands, personal belongings and many lives. He abducted human beings. He stole the futures of countless people. That was his impact.

On the side of his fountain, not far from the depiction of Columbus perched above a forlorn Native man, the memorial inscription proclaims that he “gave mankind a new world.” Here, mankind is exclusively White, Christian and European — it is explicit on whose behalf his quest was made. The world he discovered was not new. It was old and home to many families and distinct cultural communities.

Anyone who does not find all of the above utterly obvious does not deserve to call themselves American.