As our country continues its ongoing awakening to systemic racism, statues of Confederate leaders and colonialists have been coming down across the country. In Minnesota, a group of people has organized with the goal of replacing a statue of Christopher Columbus on the grounds of the state capitol in St. Paul with a monument to the state’s most famous export: Prince.
In a petition, which was started several years ago (it mentions Governor Mark Dayton, whose term ended in 2019) but has gained momentum in recent weeks as protests continue in the wake of the wrongful killing of George Floyd in police custody in Minneapolis. The campaign lobbies the state legislature for the removal of the Columbus statue. As of publication time, the petition has garnered close to 9,000 signatures.
Notes the description on the Organize For petition page,
Across the nation, city governments are choosing to remove statues of white supremacists, slave owners, and those who threatened the livelihood of Black people. Here in Minnesota, communities are reigniting the demand to bring down state’s monument to Christopher Columbus, a man who murdered, raped and enslaved Black and Native peoples in the Americas. We, the undersigned, do not believe that Columbus represents the values Minnesotans carry. Rather than glorify a man who wanted to extinguish Black and Native peoples, we should honor members of our community whose leadership we find inspirational.
We, the undersigned, up submit that the Governor … and the Minnesota State Legislature replace the statue of Columbus with statues representative of Minnesota’s Black and Native communities.
In a section market “Why is this important?”, the Prince statue petition’s organizers offer a simple yet logical reason: “Prince represents Minnesota values and Columbus does not.”
These sorts of campaigns have been popping up all over the country in recent weeks. In Tennessee, a group of petitioners is attempting to catalyze the replacement of a bust portraying former Ku Klux Klan grand wizard Nathan Bedford Forrest with a statue of Dolly Parton.
You can sign the petition to replace the St. Paul Columbus statue with a statue of Prince here.
[H/T Consequence of Sound]
As our country continues to reckon with its history of systemic racism, Live For Live Music is excited to bring you Justice Comes Alive: A Virtual Festival For Equality, on Sunday, June 28th.
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