As many cities across the United States finally begin the long overdue process of removing Confederate statues memorializing the country’s history of racism, one Baltimore native has gone even further—taking a hammer to the nation’s oldest monument to Christopher Columbus, arguably patient zero for the disease of American white supremacy.
“Christopher Columbus symbolizes the initial invasion of European capitalism into the Western Hemisphere,” the man, who identifies himself solely as “Ty,” explains over footage posted to Youtube early Monday morning:
Columbus initiated a centuries-old wave of terrorism, murder, genocide, rape, slavery, ecological degradation and capitalist exploitation of labor in the Americas. That Columbian wave of destruction continues on the backs of Indigenous, African-American and brown people.
As the footage continues, the hooded figure affixes a simple white sign reading “the future is racial and economic justice” to the base of the 40 foot obelisk, before hefting a large sledgehammer and smashing a portion of the monument to pieces.
While much of the recent controversy over memorials that celebrate the country’s racist past has centered on monuments to the Confederacy, statues of Columbus have recently faced renewed scrutiny as well. In Columbus, OH, last week, a statue of the city’s namesake was the site of a protest demanding its removal. A similar rally took place over the weekend in Detroit, MI.
Last week, the city of Baltimore removed four statues commemorating the Confederacy in a single overnight operation. According to Baltimorebrew.com, the city still has two other statues of Christopher Columbus, in addition to the monument that was damaged this weekend.