San Jose Punts on Relocating Columbus Statue Until 2018

San Jose officials announced Wednesday that Christopher Columbus will likely spend one last holiday season at City Hall. After much debate and commentary from the public, the statue celebrating the Italian explorer—who many see as an idol of genocide—has yet to be relocated.

On Sept. 13, a memo for the relocation of the statue was brought to the attention of the City Council. The hope was to remove the statue and position it to a more appropriate location, but three months later the statue has still yet to find a new home. During an Oct. 12 protest, city staff reported, members of the community who oppose the statue “aggressively antagonized” visitors and City Hall staff. Security and police officers were reportedly required to help disperse the protesters.

The Civic Club and the Italo-American Societies of San Jose gifted the Columbus statue to the city in 1958. A potential future home for the marble statue is the Italian Cultural Center and Museum in Little Italy. Other locations under consideration include Mineta San Jose International Airport and History Park at Kelley Park. Relocation is more than just finding another home, though. The nine foot tall, 6,000-pound statue will cost approximately $10,000 to move and it will need a special crate for transportation. Dismantling, moving and reassembling the statue will take two days, staff reports.

Members of the community have been outspoken about the statue, describing it as a representation of genocide, murder and oppression. On March 8, 2001, a member of the public vandalized the statue with a sledgehammer, shattering sections of the legs, arm, hand and torso of the statue.

A week after the Sept. 13, 2017 memo from Councilmember Raul Peralez, a woman vandalized the statue with red and black ink. Since then, a curtain has been installed behind the statue so it cannot be seen from outside the building.

The Rules Committee was supposed to make a recommendation on the matter to go to council, but the decision once again punted to a later date. Staff cited the holidays and the sensitive topic of relocation as reasons for the delay.The issue will be taken back up in January.

15 Comments

  1. http://www.pottsmerc.com/opinion/20170903/dave-neese-cleaning-up-our-historical-act

    DAVE NEESE: Cleaning up our historical act

    “We must seize this opportunity to indulge ourselves in smug moral righteousness, in “virtue-signaling,” as it has come to be named. ”

    Apparently, “native americans” were not the first “indigenous” people here in North America. Evidence is mounting that they pushed out a previous population of European-centric origin:

    The Smithsonian Magazine:
    http://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/the-very-first-americans-may-have-had-european-roots-5517714/?no-ist
    The Very First Americans May Have Had European Roots
    Some early Americans came not from Asia, it seems, but by way of Europe

    The Washington Post:
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/health-science/radical-theory-of-first-americans-places-stone-age-europeans-in-delmarva-20000-years-ago/2012/02/28/gIQA4mriiR_story.html
    Radical theory of first Americans places Stone Age Europeans in Delmarva 20,000 years ago

    The National Geographic:
    http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2003/09/0903_030903_bajaskull.html
    Controversy erupted after skeletal remains were found in Kennewick, Washington, in 1996. This skeleton, estimated to be 9,000 years old, had a long cranium and narrow face—features typical of people from Europe, the Near East or India—rather than the wide cheekbones and rounder skull of an American Indian.

    http://sciencenordic.com/dna-links-native-americans-europeans
    Ancient DNA reveals that the ancestors of modern-day Native Americans had European roots. The discovery sheds new light on European prehistory and also solves old mysteries concerning the colonisation of America.

    https://www.google.com/search?q=europeans+were+the+first+americans&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8&aq=t&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&client=firefox-a&channel=sb

  2. Since we’re on the roll looks like, and in order to preserve the intent and function of the separation of church and state doctrine, our esteemed city council members are hereby officially notified to call for a special hearing regarding the removal of the religious reference “San” (Saint) from the name of our city and renaming it to its proper new name:
    City of Jose.

    This a 30-day notice. Thank you

  3. Only a public entity would pay $10,000 to move one statue five miles. Starving Students Moving would probably do it for $2,000 or less
    . Bend over yet again taxpayers.

  4. Many historical figures would prove controversial measured in our time. George Washington and Thomas Jefferson were slave owners. Jefferson apparently was also a child rapist. Even Joseph, the father of Christ and Muhammad married underage wives, under circumstances that probably weren’t voluntary for the girls.
    I totally get how the native American community wants to get recognition for their terrible treatment, but the demonization of Colombus to serve their political goals seems opportunistic at best.

  5. The United States might not even exist had the diverse tribes of North America not contained an element of liberal elitists eager to be on the right side of history.
    Fortunately, enlightened and progressive Native Americans were there to scold the more intolerant ones that the vast majority of white European settlers were peace loving, gentle souls who just wanted to feed their families. They cautioned the old, angry conservative Native American bigots against a backlash whenever some of their people were massacred by these undocumented immigrants from across the sea. They admonished the haters among them that it was wrong for the white settlers to have to live in the shadows and that they must all meekly accept relocation to make room for the diverse hordes.
    Thank God the red skinned progressives prevailed and the Native Americans allowed their people and culture to be wiped off the face of the Earth because after all, what right did they have to think their way of life was so special?

  6. The “many” that see the Columbus statue as offensive were energized by a few Hispanic activists panicked at the prospect of seeing the revisionist history choo-choo pass through San Jose without stopping. And as usual with that fringe group, what they achieved with their efforts was to remind the rest of us that they remain as stupid as ever.

    Were it not for Christopher Columbus and his particular motivations (ambition, greed, piety, or whatever), his superior seamanship, and his personal courage, there is no reason to believe that Spanish DNA would have arrived in the New World in time, and in the quantity necessary, to have made a significant impact on the racial makeup of the New World (or to have mixed with the indigenous people and created a unique ethnicity). The unexplored continents and their untapped riches beckoned seagoing adventurers from France, Britain, and Russia, any one of which would’ve eventually put its own ships to sail and inevitably replicated the work of the conquistadors. Like it or not, Hispanics owe the makeup of their DNA, their surnames, their religion, their customs, and their language to the efforts of one man: Christopher Columbus — the Father of Hispanic Peoples.

    The San Jose Italian-Americans who donated the statue to the city did so out of a pride based on Columbus’s birthplace. To them, Columbus represents their claim to Italian participation in the history of the country they love. But the claim Hispanics can make to Columbus is infinitely stronger, as the legacy of his achievements flows through their veins, along with the blood of the indigenous peoples whose doom was set in motion by those same achievements.

    Message to all Hispanics: Hate Columbus, Hate Yourselves.

    • A thoughtful and educated slant as usual. I never considered Columbus’ legacy from that perspective. Thanks ff.

    • FinFan,

      I think we should move the statue of Columbus to the south, south even to Mexico where in 1835, the government of the Mexican state of Sonora put a bounty on the Apache which, over time, evolved into a payment by the government of 100 pesos for each scalp of any Apache male 14 or more years old.

      Lets not talk about the “noble Spaniards” who destroyed the Incas, the Aztecs and the Mayans. I won’t ever criticize the Sacred Hispanic , those who even as late as the 1990’s were waging a virtual war of extermination against the poor little Guatemalans. (Arguably just a mopping up operation of those few persons left of any Mayan ancestry)

      Wasn’t Columbus sent out and funded by (Hispanic) Queen Isabella of Spain? Columbus then was just the dupe of an Hispanic woman, just another white man, another Caucasian stooge, victimized and exploited by the Hispanics, much like the tax payers in California’s sanctuary cities.

      I say we leave the statue of Columbus where it is but put a dunce cap on his head, appropriately a pointy-top sombrero, and reshape the the base of the statue into a dumpster so that the usual crowd of drunken downtown marchers and idiots have a place to throw their empty Budweiser cans every Cinco de Mayo.

      • If Hispanics were to embrace their history instead of their half-wit political theories I’d invest in Budweiser stock, as the “usual crowd of drunken downtown marchers and idiots” will have Natalicio de Cristobal Columbo to celebrate.

  7. I must agree with Chris (above), the giant turd must be removed. Are we to ignore separation of church and state? Per Wikipedia, Quetzalcoatl is the Aztec god of wind and learning. The giant turd sits on Plaza de Cesar Chavez, property owned by the city of San Joser.

  8. If you are going to remove historic images because of their past, then the Democratic Party needs to be abolished. The party was born of pro-slavery and racism, owners of slaves, segregationists, opposers of civil rights, creators of the KKK, and many racist Presidents. Fair is fair. So when will the party be removed?

  9. IHouston,Texas used recent donated hurricane funds to remove a famous Civil War General.
    Thanks to all those that donated money for hurricane relief.

  10. I think we need to replace Old Chris and Quetzalcoatl with a small Mayan pyramid with a priest slicing open a captive minority chest with an obsidian knife and swallowing his heart, as a sacrifice to the non partisan sun god as a gesture
    of good will and fertility or late term abortion!
    Makes me wonder what the world would be today if the european barbarians had stayed home?

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