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News: Statues of Columbus in Baltimore and New York destroyed

News:  Statues of Columbus in Baltimore and New York destroyed


This past weekend, the oldest monument in the United States, dedicated to Christopher Columbus, was destroyed in Baltimore.  Last night a bronze bust of Columbus in a park in Yonkers, a suburb of New York City, was destroyed.  Over two dozen grave markers and monuments dedicated to African-American leaders, the Confederacy or individual Confederate leaders have been seriously vandalized in the past month.  The precise number is not known because most cases are being treated as local law enforcement issues and are not getting national publicity.

Violence begets violence . . . so undoubtedly this latest craze by the crazies will get worse before it gets better. 

News article on Baltimore vandalism

News article on Yonkers vandalism

Of course, most indigenous Americans are not fond of Christopher Columbus.  Pressure from indigenous peoples in several parts of Latin America have caused governments to relocate statues of Columbus from prominent locations.  That’s one thing.  Vandalism is another. 

Violent destruction of public art and gravestones represents a deep seated hostility toward someone, society or some institution.  It is symptomatic of transferred aggression (aka sadism) that also manifests itself among pyromaniacs,  parents who beat their children after a bad day at work or gangs of thugs ganging up on a helpless person of another race.

We, here, at the People of One Fire continue to believe that the best way to honor the lives of our ancestors is to learn as much as possible about who they were and how they lived. 




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Richard Thornton is a professional architect, city planner, author and museum exhibit designer-builder. He is today considered one of the nation’s leading experts on the Southeastern Indians. However, that was not always the case. While at Georgia Tech Richard was the first winner of the Barrett Fellowship, which enabled him to study Mesoamerican architecture and culture in Mexico under the auspices of the Institutio Nacional de Antropoligia e Historia. Dr. Roman Piňa-Chan, the famous archaeologist and director of the Museo Nacional de Antropologia, was his fellowship coordinator. For decades afterward, he lectured at universities and professional societies around the Southeast on Mesoamerican architecture, while knowing very little about his own Creek heritage. Then he was hired to carry out projects for the Muscogee-Creek Nation in Oklahoma. The rest is history. Richard is the Tribal Historic Preservation Officer for the KVWETV (Coweta) Creek Tribe and a member of the Perdido Bay Creek Tribe. In 2009 he was the architect for Oklahoma’s Trail of Tears Memorial at Council Oak Park in Tulsa. He is the president of the Apalache Foundation, which is sponsoring research into the advanced indigenous societies of the Lower Southeast.

1 Comment


    The problem with removing landmarks is that you remove the opportunity for our descendants to learn from them. Even if it’s a monument you find distasteful, you point to it and tell your children, “see that statue of that man there? He was wicked and evil because…” or “See that monument? That records the time when we….and what we learn from that is…”


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