A new poll from the Washington Post/ABC reveals that a majority of Americans favor keeping statues honoring Confederate generals in place, with 52% of the public wanting such statues preserved and 43% supporting their removal.
An even wider majority of Americans support preserving statues of U.S. Presidents who owned slaves, such as Andrew Jackson, George Washington, and Thomas Jefferson. 68% of Americans want statues of these presidents maintained, while 25% want them removed. The fact that a quarter of Americans want statues of slaveowning Presidents removed is noteworthy in and of itself, considering it would entail removing statues of the United States’ founding fathers and most historic Presidents.
Hispanic Americans appeared to generally agree with White Americans in support of maintaining historic statues, whereas three-quarters of Black Americans support removing Confederate statues from places of public prominence.
The polling data suggests that there’s far less support for Confederate and American statue destruction than the national mob of historic vandals and iconoclasts might think, having attacked numerous well-known monuments and statues to historic Americans across the country. The federal government has only begun to start criminally charging those who attack historic federal property, most recently indicting several people for an attack on an Andrew Jackson statue outside of the White House.
Half of Americans also oppose renaming US military bases named after Confederate generals, with 42% of the public supporting renaming the facilities.
The poll also reveals wide support for the Black Lives Matter movement, with 63% of Americans saying that they support it.
The poll was gauged through phone calls to more than 1,000 Americans across the country.
City of Denver Unanimously Votes to Rename Columbus Park “La Raza Park”
There might come a time when nothing in the US is named after Christopher Columbus.
The Denver City Council unanimously voted to rename Columbus Park last week Monday, and now it will be named “La Raza Park.”
“La raza” is Spanish for “the race,” which has connotations with Latino identity politics. A Denver Post article tells us that the phrase “viva la raza” (long live the race) was the “rallying cry of the Chicano movement in the 1960s and ’70s.” The Chicano Movement encouraged Mexican ethnic and cultural solidarity with a particular emphasis on their indigenous heritage. The movement, however, rejected assimilation and thus the term “Mexican-American,” essentially branding themselves as the Hispanic version of the Black Power movement.
Councilwoman Amanda Sandoval claims that the unanimous vote was an act of officially naming a park that has “always” been unofficially called by its new name. “La raza is a word of unity and about celebrating community,” she said without a hint of irony.
The reason for officially renaming the park is about what you’d expect, namely because Christopher Columbus is irredeemably associated with colonialism and genocide and is thus not fit to be honored in any way, shape, or form.
Arturo Gonzalez, a retired professor, said that “Mexican Chicanos and Indigenous peoples have suffered genocide over the last 500 years. We live with that trauma. We continue to live with that trauma.”
Renaming parks, buildings, and schools that were previously named after so-called “problematic” or “white supremacist” historical figures is nothing new, of course, but the practice has accelerated over the past several months due to the hysteria following the George Floyd riots.
Big League Politics has covered many instances of this phenomenon. One of the most recent instances included a San Francisco school district renaming Abraham Lincoln High School because black lives apparently “didn’t matter” to him:
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