The Ku Klux Klan attempted to tear down monuments dedicated to Christopher Columbus too, an advocate of the famous explorer told The Daily Caller.
Patrick Korten of the National Christopher Columbus Association said in a statement Friday that “Columbus has been the target of white supremacists since the 1920s, when a resurgent Ku Klux Klan attacked monuments and celebrations of Columbus from coast to coast.”
New York Mayor Bill de Blasio and other city leaders are now contemplating whether to remove statues like Columbus from their respective cities.
De Blasio appointed a commission to review monuments that are dedicated to historical figures. Some of these monuments, like a 76-foot tall Christopher Columbus statue, could be removed from city property if it is deemed too distasteful.
Korten says, “They hated that he was Mediterranean, not Anglo, that he sailed for Spain, not England, that he was popular in the immigrant community, and most of all, that he was Catholic. (Catholics, along with African Americans and Jews, were regular targets of the Klan).”
Catholics in cities across the country experienced discrimination back in the ’20s, The Catholic News Agency noted in a 2016 report.
Korten told The Daily Caller in an interview Friday that during the 1920s, the Klan tried to prevent the erection of monuments to Columbus and sought to tear down existing monuments to him throughout the country.
“It was largely an anti-Catholic sort of thing. Columbus, of course, was Catholic. He sailed for Catholic Spain. He was a devout Catholic originally from Italy, and this spurned a good deal of antagonism and hatred directed specifically at Catholics and, most especially, Catholic immigrants. The Klan efforts of the 1920s were very substantially anti-immigrant in nature,” he said.