Story at a glance
- The statue of Christopher Columbus at Union Station in Worcester, Mass., was vandalized overnight.
- This is the second time in 16 months that the statue has been defaced.
- In June 2020, following the death of George Floyd, the word “genocide” was painted on the monument.
The statue of Christopher Columbus at Union Station in Worcester, Mass., has been vandalized for the second time in 16 months.
The Telegram and Gazette reported the 8-foot marble statue, which was erected in 1978, was defaced with red paint overnight. A worker told the paper the paint was still wet when cleaning crews arrived around 10 a.m.
Attorney Nunziato Fusaro donated the statue to the city in memory of his wife, Esther.
Protests over the celebration of Columbus, whose arrival in the West historians credit with the decimation of native populations, have coincided with a larger racial reckoning in the U.S. over the past year. And in June 2020, following the death of George Floyd, the word “genocide” was painted on the monument.
Vice President Harris on Tuesday told the National Congress of American Indians we “must not shy away from this shameful past,” brought about by some of the first explorers.
“Since 1934, every October the United States has recognized the voyage of the European explorers who first landed on the shores of the Americas,” she said. “But that is not the whole story. That has never been the whole story.
“Those explorers ushered in a wave of devastation for Tribal nations — perpetrating violence, stealing land, and spreading disease,” she continued.
Meanwhile, President Biden on Friday issued the first presidential proclamation marking Indigenous Peoples’ Day — celebrated alongside Columbus Day — aiming to commemorate the “invaluable contributions and resilience of Indigenous peoples.”
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