Remove Christopher Columbus monuments in Trinidad and Tobago
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On the subject of Columbus, Guyanese Scholar Jan Carew said, “The holocaust which Columbus set in motion was so devastating that it must be seen as an unprecedented aberration in human history … he did not just tear a page out of history but out of the book of the universe. Before cautioning that false heroes burden not just your history but your character as well.”
Trinidad and Tobago can take pride in the fact that we pioneered the end of discovery day in 1984, a decade before most other countries in the hemisphere started. We must face the fact however that we continue to publicly glorify the murderous colonizer who initiated two of the greatest crimes in human history: the genocide of the Indigenous people of the Caribbean and the Trans-Atlantic slave trade both of which are at the root of the racial injustice that our generation is protesting today.
Fact: we have not one, but two statues; the first erected in Port of Spain in 1881 by former enslaver Hippolyte Borde and the last curiously, in Moruga in 2010, by the self-proclaimed Prince Erick Lewis.
Since the 1970’s there have been calls to remove the Columbus monument in Port of Spain. Since 2017 there has been a national campaign to remove both featuring peaceful protests and consultations with the mayor of Port of Spain Joel Martinez calling for national dialogue about removal. In one such meeting, a living descendant of Hyppolyte Borde pleaded with the Mayor to remove her grandfather’s statue: stating it does not represent the current values of our twin island republic. The authorities have not budged hoping that the matter would just go away. We the people of Trinidad and Tobago cannot accept this insult any longer, Columbus is not our hero we do not support or glorify GENOCIDE, RAPE, SLAVERY AND PLUNDER. #ColumbusMustFall NOW, #WeTakeNoPrideInGenocide, #BlackLivesMAtter.
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