Folks are done with Christopher Columbus.
In parts of the U.S., activists are defacing or outright removing his statues from public spaces.
For example, in Richmond, Virginia, a Columbus statue was torn down by protestors around 9 p.m. on Tuesday in Byrd Park. The action came after a peaceful demonstration outside the statue in honor of indigenous people, according to WWBT.
Along with toppling the statue from its foundation, protestors spray painted it and eventually set it on fire. Finally, the statue ended up in the lake. Similar destruction has occurred in places like Boston, where someone beheaded the Columbus statue there.
Columbus, a European explorer and colonizer, has been romanticized over the years for “discovering” America in the late 15th century despite indigenous people living in the Americas years before this.
Not only are activists calling out the fallacies of his discoverer title, but they’re also shedding light on the other terrible things he’s done.
According to the Associated Press, Columbus believed the indigenous people he encountered were childlike and could be easily made into slaves. As indigenous groups resisted against brutal treatment from the Spanish, Columbus ordered a ruthless crackdown where he had dismembered bodies paraded in public. Eventually, Columbus was arrested on mismanagement and brutality charges and passed away a crushed man.
Authors and historians started romanticizing him in the 1800s, which played into the U.S.’ western expansion at the time, harming many indigenous tribes.
For years, indigenous and anti-racist groups have been fighting against the pristine narrative surrounding Columbus. Through protests, direct actions, and advocacy, many groups are calling for Christopher Columbus Day to be changed to Indigenous People’s Day.
And as for the statues?
They’re now all at risk.
Check out some hilarious captions for the Columbus statue in the lake below.