Remove racist Christopher Columbus monument in Easton now!

Remove racist Christopher Columbus monument in Easton now!

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Melissa Meyer started this petition to Mayor, Easton PA Sal Panto

Hello,

We are at an inflection point. Across the country, monuments criticized as symbols of historical oppression have been swiftly brought down recently. We in Easton are not immune to reckoning over such issues as European colonization and the oppression of Native Americans. On behalf of the residents of Easton, PA, I am demanding the removal of the racist Columbus Monument. We are a beautiful and unique city built on invaded and occupied territory where Indigenous people have always called home and which they continue to live in today. We despise such a symbol of Indigenous genocide and erasure in our city. In order to uplift our community, we must recognize that symbols of hate have no place in our downtown. 

There is power in a symbol. While we meet our local governments with demands to defund police and end unjust racially motivated killings of Americans, we must also eliminate the symbols that allow us to view the most racist act of violence in our nation's history in a heroic light. The Black Lives Matter movement encourages people to examine the history around them, and not all of it was merely written in books. How history is taught to future generations will dictate our anti-racist journey as a community. Let us tell the truth of our history and not lionize a man who conducted genocidal cleansing of the New World and exploitation of Native people.

“It is a turning point insofar as there are a lot of people now who are invested in telling the story that historians have been laying down for decades,” said Julian Maxwell Hayter, a historian and associate professor at the University of Richmond.

That is why we are asking for the removal of the Columbus Monument located in downtown Easton. It represents racist acts of violence through the forceful removal of people from their ancestral lands. We ask that these racist acts also be condemned by Mayor Sal Panto as he has condemned the behavior of police violence against black people. 

"The intense emotion that exploded in the days after George Floyd gasped his final breaths is now fueling a national movement to topple perceived symbols of racism and oppression in the United States, as protests over police brutality against African-Americans expand to include demands for a more honest accounting of American history." (Sarah Mervosh, Simon Romero and Lucy Tompkins, NYTimes). Anti-racism will not end with the toppling of a statue. It does not begin here either. Removing statues will not solve the problem of police brutality or racism, but it will send a message that Easton rejects racism, past, present and future. 

[Words adopted from a previous petition]

 
 

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