The Genoese navigator is often considered as one of the figures of the genocide of the Amerindians and the natives in general. And denounced in the same way as the slavers or the Confederate generals during the American Civil War.
A statue of Christopher Columbus was beheaded in Boston, another vandalized in Miami and a third jetty in a lake in Virginia, in the wake of the anti-racist movement revived in the United States.
In Boston, Massachusetts, an investigation is underway but no arrests have been made at this point, a local police spokesman for the AFP said on Wednesday. The statue of the Italian explorer is perched on a stele in Christopher Columbus Park, in the heart of this New England town. It had already been vandalized before, the image of Christopher Columbus having been disputed in the United States for several years.
The Genoese navigator, long presented as the “discoverer of America”, is now often regarded as one of the figures of the genocide of the Amerindians and the natives in general. And denounced in the same way as the slavers or the Confederate generals during the American Civil War.
Dozens of American cities replaced the October celebration of “Columbus Day” – which became a federal holiday in 1937 – with a day of tribute to “indigenous peoples”. But not Boston or New York, which have strong communities of Italian origin to which this day pays tribute.
I think it’s good to capitalize on the wave of anti-racism protests that are currently shaking the United States, a jogger who passed the damaged monument in Boston told AFP on Wednesday. Like the blacks of this country, the natives were mistreated. This movement is powerful and (the beheading) is very symbolic.
Arrests in Miami
In Miami, Florida, a statue of Christopher Columbus in a park was vandalized with red paint and inscriptions like “Black Lives Matter” or “George Floyd”, before the police did make several arrests, according to local daily Miami Herald.
Another explorer statue was shot dead on Tuesday evening by demonstrators with ropes in Richmond, Virginia, and dragged to a nearby lake into which it was thrown.
The governor of Virginia – the region where the first English settlers settled before it became the heart of enslaving America – had indicated last week that they wanted to quickly unbolt another statue of the city, that of the commander-in-chief of the Southern Army, General Robert E. Lee.
Boston mayor Martin Walsh said the statue in his city would be removed as early as Wednesday, pending a final decision, local media said. This movement, which is attacking the symbols of a slavery and racist past, affects other countries, notably Great Britain and Belgium, where statues of colonial figures have been attacked in recent days.