Tags: George Floyd Protests | columbus | baltimore | statues | monuments | native americans

Columbus Supporters Vow to Fight Assault on Statues

columbus statue is shown with protesters crowding around and one with a sign saying "powhatan land"
Members of the Richmond Indigenous Society stage a protest near the Christopher Columbus statue at Byrd Park, in Richmond, Virginia, on June 9, 2020. (James H. Wallace/Richmond Times-Dispatch via AP)

By Monday, 06 July 2020 02:26 PM Current | Bio | Archive

In the wake of the defacing and destruction of statues of Christopher Columbus, two organizations dedicated to the explorer who is credited with discovering America told Newsmax they plan to stay firm behind their hero and fight back.

Officials of both the National Christopher Columbus Association and the Knights of Columbus spoke to us days before people toppled a Columbus statue in Baltimore’s Little Italy on Sunday and threw it into nearby Inner Harbor.

“Columbus just got deported,” read a tweet from a group known as Baltimore Bloc, which has long advocated for his statue to come down. The group has long charged that the Italian explorer brought slavery, indigenous genocide, disease, and rape to the New World.

So far, statues of Columbus have been toppled or defaced in Baltimore, Boston, St. Paul, Minnesota, and Richmond, Virginia.

“I’m not going to let bullies tell us we’re not going to honor this great man,” James P. McCusker, president of the National Christopher Columbus Association, told Newsmax. “We’re still going to continue with his holiday and his statue [at Union Station in Washington, D.C.]." 

McCusker explained that his organization was now working toward telling Columbus’ complete story and working with different organizations to protect statues.

“He’s not a saint and we want to educate,” he told us. “So we’re working with some individuals to introduce a curricula we can introduce into the schools that will teach us Columbus. And we’re working with the Sons of Italy, the Knights of Columbus, and even going outside the Italian community to organizations such as the Ancient Order of Hibernians, to the Jewish Defense League [to help protect statues].”

In McCusker’s words, “As long as we’re going to keep this an Italian issue, we’re not going to gain any ground. But if we reach out to other organizations and ask them to join us, that will help our cause immensely.”

Will Watson of the Knights of Columbus told us that Columbus “was a migrant here like so many migrants who come to the U.S. today. We welcome them all. We look for the best in everyone and there’s no reason we shouldn’t look for the best in Columbus.”

He emphasized his belief that “Columbus did not bring slavery to the U.S. I believe he came as an emissary of the royal House of Spain in search of the new land. He found it.”

McCusker agreed, saying “Columbus didn’t bring slavery to this country. The two predominant Indian nations here at the time were enslaving each other. When they say Columbus brought slavery to the U.S., that’s an absolute falsehood.”

The office of Baltimore’s Democrat Mayor Jack Young made it clear it would not prosecute the assailants of the 14-foot statue, which was dedicated by President Ronald Reagan in 1984.

John Gizzi is chief political columnist and White House correspondent for Newsmax. For more of his reports, Go Here Now.

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In the wake of the defacing and destruction of statues of Christopher Columbus, two organizations dedicated to the explorer who is credited with discovering America told Newsmax they plan to stay firm behind their hero and fight back. Officials of both the National...
columbus, baltimore, statues, monuments, native americans
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2020-26-06
Monday, 06 July 2020 02:26 PM
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