I’d forgotten that our state capitol even had a statue of Christopher Columbus

Well, now we don’t.

It’s disgusting that a state with a significant Indian population had erected such a statue in the first place — like a great big middle finger put up on the capitol grounds.


  1. foolishleader says

    I just hope nobody got hurt in an effort that should have been done professionally a long time ago.

  2. Sean Boyd says

    Now if we could get rid of the Knights of Columbus. Although I don’t think they’d stand up so well to being pulled to the grown by ropes tied around their torsos.

    I made the mistake of looking at the organization’s Washington chapter website. Then my phone rang: Geocities called and wants its 90’s web page back. That, and the Jesus-y stuff all over the place. Ick.

  3. christoph says

    They’re doing that all over. A statue of Columbus in Boston was decapitated the other day. I think one was vandalized or pulled down in Seattle as well.

  4. says

    The California state capitol has a statue of Columbus and Queen Isabella in its rotunda. It was moved out during the capitol’s renovation in the eighties and some of us opposed its return, but the state senate president pro tem at the time was David Roberti, and the Italian lobby got its way.

  5. JoeBuddha says

    I hope they leave our Lenin statue alone. It’s always been a Freemont (Seattle neighborhood) joke and dressed variously for different seasons. People from Freemont have a rather strange sense of humor. Why I like them.

  6. Reginald Selkirk says

    Robert Baden-Powell statue to be removed in Poole

    A statue of the man who founded the Scouts movement is to be removed from Poole Quay amid fears it is on a “target list for attack”.
    The 12-year-old statue of Robert Baden-Powell is being removed on police advice to protect it, says Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole (BCP) Council…
    Speaking on BBC Breakfast, she added: “A quick look into his history shows that he was very open about his views against homosexuality and that he was a very open supporter of Hitler and of fascism and quite a strong, outspoken racist.”

  7. says

    It’s ridiculous that Italian-Americans have adopted him as an icon in the first place. He was born in what is today Italy, but Italy did not exist at the time. He did not speak Italian, he spoke Ligurian. He sailed for Spain. Everybody knew the earth was spherical but they also knew that it was about 24,000 miles in diameter and if you sailed west from Europe you would die of thirst before you got to Asia. When he encountered the Caribbean, he thought he as in “the Indies,” which did not exist. (There is no comparable archipelago near India. In fact if there wasn’t an unexpected land mass in the way the first land he would likely have encountered would have been the Phillippines, still thousands of miles from India. But he would have died long before he got there.) He massacred and enslaved the native people he encountered, and he never set foot in North American or even knew of its existence. There is nothing about him that is worthy of celebration in any way, and again, he wasn’t even Italian. Fiorello Laguardia would make a much better Italian-American hero.

  8. says

    @#8, dstatton:

    Why pollute the river? Besides, the Colston statue has been fished back out again, will be put in a museum, and might even end up being re-erected. If the time and energy are available, it would make more sense to dismantle the thing into at least relatively small chunks and make sure they are taken to different locations for further dismantling.

  9. blf says

    I rather like what happened in Richmond, where the Columbus statue was torn down, set on fire, and then “walked the plank” (so to speak), Christopher Columbus statues toppled in Virginia and beheaded in Boston (video at the link).

    Al Jazeera has an “interactive” map based on SPLC data (July-2019) of most of the pro-slavery statues in the States, Mapping the hundreds of Confederate statues across the US: “There are 771 Confederate statues in the US […] Georgia, Virginia, North Carolina and Texas are home to half of the country’s Confederate statues and monuments.”

  10. blf says

    Also (quickly off the top of my head), Doctor John Snow, Professor George Washington Carver, Rosa Parks, and many many others. Take care to not just be men, or white, or European.

  11. blf says

    @14, Yes: “Take care to not just be men, or white, or European.”
    Your point please?

  12. davidc1 says

    @7 There is a photo out there in cyper space of a group of gammon’s huddled around it .
    And tommy -two names robinson is off to do a spot of statue hugging at the weekend .

  13. andyb says

    Letting the first nation communities in Minnesota commission a replacement statue (funded by all Minnesotans) would be an obvious solution to filling the void. Of all the Native American-themed statues in the US, I imagine very few were actually designed by Native Americans.

  14. whheydt says

    Re: cervantes @ #9…
    It’s a little more complicated than that. The about 25K mile circumference was worked out by Eratosthenes. A later Greek redid the measurement and got it wrong, coming up with a circumference of 18K miles.

    It was well known that it was about 13K miles from the western end of Europe to the eastern end of Asia, leaving either 5K or 12K miles of presumed ocean to cross.

    The Portuguese accepted Eratosthenes figure and knew damned well that the tech of the day couldn’t sail non-stop for 12K miles. They, therefore, kept working on their project to around Africa to get to eastern Asia.

    Columbus used the smaller–18K mile circumference–leaving 5K miles of ocean to cross. He reasoned–and convinced the Spanish crown–that that was, just, doable. It’s arguable whether (had he been right about the distance) whether he could have made it or not. As it was, of course, there were a couple of extra continents in the way, plus a bunch of off-shore islands, so he made it…just barely.

  15. robro says

    Read today that the Tennessee legislature has passed legislation to prevent the removal of a bust of Nathan Bedford Forrest in the state capitol building. As you probably know, Forrest is considered a founder and an early leader of the KKK. He was also a slave trader before the war. The bust has only been there since 1978 which says something about how much the people of Tennessee have grown up.

    Actually I know a couple of Tennessee people who are appalled that it was ever there.

  16. Sunil Kamath says

    “It’s disgusting that a state with a significant Indian population had erected such a statue in the first place — like a great big middle finger put up on the capitol grounds.”

    What do Indians have to do with Christopher Columbus? He didn’t even get anywhere close to India.

  17. Janicot says

    I wonder why there is so much fuss. From the Library of Congress website:

    *** No portrait of Columbus drawn or painted from life is known to exist. Many images depicting Columbus and his activities, however, can be found in the Library’s collections. ***

    Rename the statue for what it is — a representation of a man in time period costume. And take it down. It’s not our fault (or even theirs) that our predecessors ignorantly revered him.

    The statue of Giordano Bruno at the Campo de’ Fiori in Rome, for instance, is of a ‘hooded monk’. I like honoring Bruno so I like the statue but that’s not really an image of him.
    Similar for the Columbus images — except that I’d just as soon be rid of them.
    Save them as period artwork but remove them from their places of honor.