There's a Petition to Replace a Christopher Columbus Statue with a Prince Memorial

Tonight we're gonna party like it's 1492.
Lauren O'Neill
London, GB
Imagen vía Wikimedia Commons

Following the neo-Nazi rally in Charlottesville, Virginia a couple of weeks ago, where an anti-fascist protestor lost her life, the topic of statues and monuments has been a hot one. Shortly after the events in Charlottesville, hero Takiyah Thompson was arrested in Durham, North Carolina, for toppling a confederate monument in the city, and there has been much discussion about who and what actually warrants a statue. Racism, certainly, does not.

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That's why activists in Minnesota have started a petition calling on state Governor Mark Dayton and the state legislature to have a monument to Christopher Columbus—who, upon arriving in America enslaved and killed black and Native people—removed, and replaced with one to a real Minnesota hero: Prince.

The petition states:

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 honour members of our community whose leadership we find inspirational.

Alongside an as-yet undecided person of Native American Minnesotans' choosing, those in charge of the petition have suggested that Prince ought to replace Columbus, because, very simply "Prince represents Minnesota values and Columbus does not." Prince was famously proud of his home state, and unlike other American musicians who tend to up sticks to New York or LA, he lived there, in his Paisley Park estate, until his death last year. And, in the words of petition signatory Manny A., "Did Christopher Columbus drop a 13x platinum album? No. No he did not." Word.

At the time of writing, the petition is around 300 signatures short of its target of 4000, so it looks like it'll hit it pretty soon. And honestly, it should: I cannot think of any person, living or dead, who would make a flyer statue than Prince.

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