Columbus State Community College will remove the statute of Columbus that has stood on the grounds since 1988.
In a open letter on their website board of trustees president Anthony Joseph wrote:
“We do not seek to erase history, but to make an intentional shift in what we visibly honor and celebrate as an institution. This is the first of many steps in what will be a lengthy journey as the College seeks to build on and improve our ongoing efforts toward broadened diversity and inclusion.”
CSCC president David Harrison says the decsion was the result of a “years-long dialogue out of concern and support for students of color who have been harmed and traumatized by systemic racism.”
The Columbus statue, which was created in 1959 for an Illinois park, will be removed over the next two weeks, and will be stored on campus. No word on the ultimate destination.
A 134-year old statue of Columbus has been removed in St. Louis, and removal of similar statues around the country are under discussion. Once an icon of American history and a point of pride for Italian-Americans, the explorer’s role in the systematic murder and enslavement of indigenous populations have made the statues and honors increasingly unpopular.
In 2018 the city of Columbus joined a growing number of cities around the country who removed Columbus Day as an official holiday. Statues of Columbus remain at City Hall and the Ohio Statehouse.