Culture Wars/Current Controversies

Reconsidering the Past, One Statue at a Time

All of these statues could be replaced with statues of MLK, Gloria Steinem, and Harvey Milk, and it would still be the same system we have now. A change in iconography or a change in managerial personnel does not change the system.

By Sarah Mervosh, Simon Romero and Lucy Tompkins

New York Times

The boiling anger that exploded in the days after George Floyd gasped his final breaths is now fueling a national movement to topple perceived symbols of racism and oppression in the United States, as protests over police brutality against African-Americans expand to include demands for a more honest accounting of American history.

In Portland, Ore., demonstrators protesting police killings turned their ire to Thomas Jefferson, toppling a statue of the founding father who also enslaved more than 600 people.

In Richmond, Va., a statue of the Italian navigator and colonizer Christopher Columbus was spray-painted, set on fire, and thrown into a lake.


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