Morgan Gstalter, The Hill, January 31, 2018
The city council of San Jose, Calif., voted Tuesday to remove a statute of Christopher Columbus from the lobby of its city hall.
The council is giving the area’s Italian-American community six weeks to relocate the statue, The Mercury News reported. If they haven’t done so by then, it will be placed in storage.
The Brown Berets, a pro-Chicano group, helped lead a push to have the statue removed from public land, calling it “a symbol of genocide” that glorified European colonialism and violence against Native Americans after Columbus’s 1492 voyage to America.
The statute of the navigator had been vandalized twice. A man once reportedly smashed the statue’s face with a sledgehammer while shouting “murderer” and “genocide.”
Columbus statues in other major U.S. cities have been defaced in recent months amid a national debate last fall about removing Confederate monuments. A similar statue in New York was beheaded.
Last week, in an effort to recognize “historic discrimination and violence” against Native Americans, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors voted to replace Columbus Day with Indigenous Peoples Day.