A Christopher Columbus statue was found in New York City’s Central Park with red paint covering its hands and graffiti on the statue’s base declaring that “HATE WILL NOT BE TOLERATED” — as well as a creepy warning that “#somethingscoming.”
— Harry Siegel (@harrysiegel) September 12, 2017
A sign reading “save your soul” was stuck to the statue’s base as well:
— Kait Bigica (@kbigica) September 12, 2017
Police were called about the vandalism at 6 a.m. Tuesday, the Gothamist reported, adding that the statue was cordoned off with caution tape and metal fences while the paint was removed.
“I think it’s a good look, honestly,” Christen Clifford told the outlet regarding the graffiti, which she saw Tuesday morning after taking her child to school. “I think that with Christopher Columbus and colonialism, we have a lot of blood on our hands in this country.”
Protests against the celebration of Columbus Day — a federal holiday — have been gaining steam in recent years. But with the widespread vandalism and dismantling of Confederate monuments that followed deadly demonstrations over a Robert E. Lee statue in Charlottesville, Virginia, last month, anger over other historical figures has spread.
To wit: A Columbus statue was beheaded in Yonkers, New York, in August.
Taking the burgeoning discontent to heart, NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio vowed to remove all “symbols of hate” from the city’s five boroughs, commissioning a task force to work for 90 days on identifying them.
Amid the vandalism of the Columbus statue in Central Park, a more recognizable statue of the Italian explorer in nearby Columbus Circle has been the subject of debate. While de Blasio wouldn’t say if he wants the Columbus Circle statue removed, another well-known Democrat is against taking it down.
“I think you know no one’s perfect, and he discovered America,” U.S. Sen. Chuck Schumer said, adding that Columbus is an icon, WCBS-TV reported.