A group of protesters in Baltimore spent their 4th of July using ropes to pull down a statue of Christopher Columbus in the city’s Little Italy neighborhood – tossing it into the Inner Harbor.
— spencer compton (@spencercompton) July 5, 2020
Protesters took down the Columbus statue in Baltimore’s Little Italy tonight. Like took it down hard.
— Joshua Potash (@JoshuaPotash) July 5, 2020
The statue, dedicated in 1984, is the latest monument to be destroyed in what President Trump dubbed the “left-wing cultural revolution” by “angry mobs.”
According to the Baltimore Sun, the Columbus statue has been the site of a wreath-laying ceremony right before the annual Columbus Day parade, which, in 2019 was replaced with the Italian Heritage Festival.
Republican state delegates and Italian-American activists held a press conference at the statue last month to ask Gov. Larry Hogan and Baltimore Mayor Bernard C. “Jack” Young to preserve and protect the memorials, following activists’ comments about pulling down the monuments themselves and the introduction of a City Council bill this week to rename one of them in honor of victims of police violence.
The downed statue is one of three monuments to Columbus in Baltimore. –Baltimore Sun
Much of America has watched in quizzical silence in recent weeks as crowds declared war on an increasingly incoherent succession of historical symbols. Maybe you nodded as Confederate general Albert Pike was toppled or even when Christopher Columbus was beheaded, but it got a little weird when George Washington was emblazoned with “Fuck Cops” and set on fire, or when they went after Ulysses S. Grant, abolitionist Colonel Hans Christian Heg, “Forward,” (a seven-foot-tall female figure meant to symbolize progress), the Portland, Oregon “Elk statue,” or my personal favorite, the former slave Miguel de Cervantes, whose cheerful creations Don Quixote and Sancho Panza were apparently mistaken for reals and had their eyes lashed red in San Francisco.
Was a What the Fuck? too much to ask? It was! In the space of a few weeks the level of discourse in the news media dropped so low, the fear of being shamed as a deviationist so high, that most of the weirder incidents went uncovered. Leading press organs engaged in real-time Soviet-style airbrushing. Here’s how the Washington Post described a movement that targeted Spanish missionary Junipero Serra, Abraham Lincoln (a “single-handed symbol of white supremacy,” according to UW-Madison students), an apple cider press sculpture, abolitionist Mathias Baldwin, and the first all-Black volunteer regiment in the Civil War, among others.
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