Leftist Iconoclasts Want to Remove Oregon Pioneer Statue
Confederate monuments are not the only artifacts of American history that are facing the politically correct Left’s wrath.
This statue was erected 100 years ago in commemoration of Oregon’s pioneering roots.
Now, as its 100-year anniversary approaches, several members of the University of Oregon campus community demand that it be removed.
NPR Oregon reported on the protests from students and members of the university faculty, which have generated a petition drive to remove this statue.
Some protestors held signs that said “whose history does UO honor” and “Who is the pioneer? It was evident that killing ‘Injuns’ was not a very unnatural happening.”
Other protestors see the statue as an apology for colonialism.
History doctoral candidate Marc Carpenter told the Daily Emerald that a “monument is a celebration. … So, to me, it feels very similar to the confederate monuments that speckled a large part of the rest of the country.”
The PHD candidate added, “It’s a monument to violence and white supremacy, and I don’t think those are values that we want to have as a community.”
In Carpenter’s view, “‘The Pioneer’ is a monument to violent white supremacy, and as such it should not have a place of honor at a university striving to be inclusive, diverse, and just.”
Another point of controversary was the statue’s origins.
The statue was a gift to the University of Oregon in May of 1919. According to two UO historians, the president of the Oregon Historical Society gave a speech which “extolled the virtues of the Anglo-Saxon race” during the dedication ceremony.
The president allegedly said that Anglo-Saxons believe “in the protection of life and of liberty and in the rights of property and the pursuit of happiness.”
He added, “This race has large powers of assimilation, and its great ideas of liberty and of the rights of mankind caused other races to become a part of it, so it became a people as well as a race.”
UO interim spokesperson Molly Blancett relayed a statement to NPR Oregon that came in response to the protest, which explained that a committee had been launched to review campus artwork and monuments.
The statement noted the following:
The Pioneer statue was unveiled 100 years ago to represent Oregon’s first European settlers. A century later, a more inclusive view of history recognizes that The Pioneer symbolizes just one part of the story. The UO fully appreciates that to many Oregonians, including those of Native American ancestry, it stands for something very different, the framing of history from only one culture’s perspective. We take those views very seriously.
Last winter, the UO established a presidential working group – led by Dean of Libraries Adriene Lim and Professor Dean Livelybrooks – to audit and review campus monuments, plaques and public art installations and recommend whether any changes need to be made to those features to recognize the diverse histories of our community. The Pioneer statue is part of that review, and the working group hopes to deliver a report, including recommendations, next fall. We are happy to share any research and information from outside organizations with that working group.
What is taking place in the University of Oregon confirms the fears of many on the Right. The confederate monuments were only the beginning, as the Left is moving on to other historical figures that they deem as “racist” and “reactionary” in their quest to destroy American history and cement political correctness culture in America.