At a time when society is taking a deeper look at the figures represented as statues and celebrated monuments, a petition has been launched by the residents of Tennessee in a bid to remove a statue of Christopher Columbus and replace it with one of Prince.
Earlier this week it was announced that the Natural History Museum in New York will remove its controversial Theodore Roosevelt statue and the trend is snowballing. The Roosevelt statue comes as the latest monument to be taken down, a movement which was sparked by the group of protesters in Bristol hauled down the statue of slave trader Edward Colston and dumped it into a river.
The removal of Colston has resulted in a widespread reflection and analysis of the statues and celebrated figures of society, many of which have been intrinsically linked to racism in some form. Now, as many institutions begin measures to remove or change historic aspects, the local people of Minnesota have followed suit with a new petition to remove a visual memory of Italian admiral Columbus.
“Across the nation, city governments are choosing to remove statues of white supremacists, slave owners, and those who threatened the livelihood of Black people. Here in Minnesota, communities are reigniting the demand to bring down state’s monument to Christopher Columbus, a man who murdered, raped and enslaved Black and Native peoples in the Americas,” the petition reads.
“We, the undersigned, do not believe that Columbus represents the values Minnesotans carry. Rather than glorify a man who wanted to extinguish Black and Native peoples, we should honour members of our community whose leadership we find inspirational.”
If the petition were to be successful, it would be the first statue of Prince to be built in his home town.
To sign the movement, follow this link.