Confederate Statues And Christopher Columbus Toppled

| Resist!

Above photo: Jefferson Davis memorial on the ground. From Channel 8 Richmond, Sierra Fox.

People are showing their anger at the white supremacy and racism that continue in the United States in multiple ways. Confederate statutes have become a target in Richmond, which served as the capital of the Confederate States of America for almost the whole US Civil War. On Monument Avenue, the statue of Davis,  a Mississippi Democrat who served as the president of the Confederacy from 1861 until 1865, was among three statutes torn down within the past week in Richmond. Saturday, a statue of Confederate General Williams Carter Wickham was toppled from its pedestal. Tuesday, a statue of Christopher Columbus was torn down and dumped in a lake.

Recently, Virginia Governor Ralph Northam ordered the removal of a monument to Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee. Northam almost resigned when photographs allegedly of him in blackface were made public in May 2019. On Monday, a Richmond Circuit Court judge ordered a 10-day stay of Northam’s directive so a lawsuit filed to prevent the statue’s removal can be heard. By then, the statue of Lee had been covered with antiracism slogans and graffiti. 

All nine members of Richmond’s city council said they would support legislation from Mayor Levar Stoney to remove all four city-owned statues of Confederate figures along Richmond’s historic Monument Avenue.  The Confederate statues have long been a target of activists who oppose the celebration of the Confederacy that defended slavery in the Civil War.

Jefferson Davis lying on the ground:

About 80 miles away, protesters in Portsmouth Virginia beheaded and then pulled down four statues that were part of a Confederate monument on Wednesday. Associated Press reports that in Portsmouth, “The crowd was frustrated by the Portsmouth City Council’s decision to put off moving the monument. They switched to throwing bricks from the post that held the plaque they had pulled down as they initially worked to bring down the statue. The Pilot reports that they then started to dismantle the monument one piece at a time as a marching band played in the streets and other protesters danced. A protester in his 30s was hit in the head as the monument fell, causing him to lose consciousness”

On Tuesday, a statute of Christopher Columbus, who is credited with beginning the European colonization of the Americas and who began the African slave trade, was torn down, set on fire, dragged through the street, and thrown into a lake. Columbus is credited with the two founding crimes of the United States — slavery of Africans and genocide of the Indigenous peoples. Both crimes impacted tens of millions of people and have resulted in never-ending racism against both populations, which is a source of the nationwide uprising today.

Columbus was set on fire and thrown into the water.

Dragged through the street:

And, thrown into a lake:

There are more than 100 Confederate statues in Richmond – many more to topple.

In St. Paul, Minnesota a statue of Christopher Columbus was pulled down by members of the American Indian Movement. People celebrated as it lay on the ground.

After Columbus was on the ground, people celebrated with a round dance circling him.

  • NoNameSoSueMe

    What needs to be remembered is that these statues were put up representing the world view of a past age when the genocide of indigenous people was ignored by the history books and slavery was idealized as a part of an old South that never existed. Take them down and put them somewhere with the explanation that these were the symbols of conquest, theft and murder. I don’t see what good vandalism will do in the long run.

  • Wacanta

    ameriKKKa is similar to Germany in this issue, since Germany has statues of hitler, goebbels, goring, himmler, and unknown ss members, and proudly displays the nazi flag in many government buildings…oh, wait.

  • Nylene13

    Those Pro-Civil War statues do need to go. They should have been peacefully removed a long time ago, and put into a museum- just as people now visit the German Concentration Camps.

    Now, we the people will have to do the job that our Government has refused to do.

  • John R.

    Good ideas here but one thing that has not changed and likely never will is the level of racism and hatred for black people in the southern US (especially there but it is every where really). That cycle of ignorance and hate needs to be brought to light and taught out-of-people. It will take great effort and time to root out racism.

  • pajarito

    It is inspiring to read about disciplined groups of protesters dismantling racism like this. Non-violent protest actions are so effective. Strike!

  • Nylene13

    It would only take one generation, of children taught right.

    Racism is not instinctive. It has to be taught.

  • ANTONIO

    A WORD OF SANITY AT LAST. Getting rid of unpleasant /murderous past figures changes nothing. those who refuse to look at the past in the eye are condemned to relive it. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/ff07041167c9e193303af3dc536862d29d97fcbe5595d75920e110ff6870d192.jpg

  • kevinzeese

    A lot were set up as Black people began to get equal rights. Even small steps in that direction led the racists to demand these statutes to let people know that white supremacy was still in charge. These were not set up after the war, but when civil rights began to build.

  • kevinzeese

    It takes a concerted and consistent effort.

    One of the challenges is that the power structure is excellent at dividing people in order to control them. Working class whites struggle financially and they are taught to blame black people, immigrants and indigenous peoples. We need to fix the class divide while we fix the race divide.

  • daedalus43

    Actually, this reminds me of the Protestant Reformation bashing off the noses and penises of ‘offensive’ statues in England. The Puritans were the worst. It’s similar to the Taliban erasing the statues in Afghanistan.

    Destroying a statue or any other ‘image’ doesn’t erase history. It simply makes future generations think of the destroyers as ignorant zealots with no respect for art or history. As ‘Nylene13’ said a day ago, far better to simply remove the image to a museum. That would send a far more powerful message.