We the undersigned support the removal of the Christopher Columbus statue located at the intersection of Memorial Parkway and Mohawk St in Utica.
We believe it is time that the City of Utica is more inclusive of the original inhabitants of Upstate New York, indigenous people who were displaced and dehumanized by colonizers like Columbus.
Utica has a rich history filled with diversity and inclusion, and this statue contradicts the values our city claims to stand for.
What this statue, along with others celebrating colonialism, represents is violence, racism, marginalization, and the continued denial and minimization of the experiences of indigenous people. Columbus killed millions of native people through slavery and policies that supported extermination. Under his rule his men hanged indigenous people in mass, roasted them at the stake, and did everything in their power to erase native culture. Columbus enslaved indigenous people and facilitated the sexual exploitation of indigenous women and girls as young as nine; He profited from the pain of indigenous communities, and this is being commemorated in a city as diverse as Utica. Columbus led a genocide comparable to that which was led by hitler
October 12, 1492 marks the beginning of that genocide, when Columbus arrived in the Americas. 100 million Indigenous people were eventually massacred here. This genocide that exterminated 95% of the native population. It is the largest and most atrocious genocide ever committed in the history of humanity. In solidarity with the descendants of the 5% who survived, we are asking the city of Utica to stop honoring the man who started this genocide. The statue of Columbus represents his legacy of mass murdering, raping, pillaging, torturing, and the enslaving Indigenous men, women, children, and babies of the western hemisphere.