University To Remove Symbol ‘Of Genocide’ Columbus Statue


David Krayden Ottawa Bureau Chief
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Pepperdine University will be removing the controversial statue of Christopher Columbus who represents “a celebration of genocide and racial oppression” to many students at the school in Southern California.  The relocation has already commenced this week, The College Fix reports.

Students have been demanding the statue be taken down for years.

After removal, it’s going on a long trip: from the university’s amphitheater to Pepperdine’s campus in Florence, Italy, according to the school’s president Andrew Benton, who heralded the news to the university’s liberal arts students this week.

In his e-mail, Benton conceded that the story of Columbus had always been related to students as one that was “heroic and exciting,” but these days the “stories of conquest and the art associated therewith are painful reminders of loss and human tragedy.”

Though the statue was donated by people who “meant to honor the good attributes of [Columbus’s] life” and “they did not mean to offend,” Benton said they did not fully consider the impact that Columbus and the early explorers had on “indigenous people.”

The Columbus 500 Congress, a group activated to honor the 500th anniversary of Columbus’s landing in the Americas, donated the statue to the university in 1992 when the famous explorer still enjoyed a status above that of a mass murderer.

But recently, students have begun to sneer at the statue and the student newspaper The Graphic, brought their readers stories of two dozen students converging on the site and shouting “take it down” last October. Then came a news release from the anti-Columbus protest group “Waves Against Columbus” that called the statue “a celebration of genocide and racial oppression.” The release also criticized the university for allowing some local donors to outclass “the cultural acceptance and personal experience of marginalized students.”

In a statement to The College Fix, the university’s Black Student Association extolled the president’s decision.

“We are happy to finally see this come to fruition. We thank everyone involved in this movement for their hard work and dedication towards fighting for this cause,” the organization said. “We are humbled to contribute to this work of justice.”

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