My name is Mareean Haynes and I am a student at Patrick Henry High School. We have been studying the arrival of Europeans in the Americas in our U.S. History class. I am aware that there is a statue of Christopher Columbus on the state capitol grounds and I believe it should be taken down. This issue to me is important because it is really wrong that we celebrate a racist person.

The statue of Christopher Columbus on our state capitol grounds should be disposed of. Here are some specific facts from our class activities and my own research to support the need for removing the Columbus statue on our state capitol grounds.

My first fact is that he was extremely racist, and he was responsible for thousands of deaths. It’s not right to celebrate racism. That would mean its okay for young people to do things that are not right. Columbus enslaved people and named them “Indians” — they should be called what they want and not what he named them. He also massacred men, women and children and that’s not something to celebrate. Children who slaved for Columbus worked without shoes — he didn’t care about kids nor humans. He lied and said he was the first to discover America but if people know the truth it’s a whole different story. He was also abusive to women in many different ways — why would we want to support that kind of behavior? Columbus was an evil man and didn’t care about anybody. I  think  that  we should take his statue down.

I believe that my voice matters, particularly in issues of who we choose to honor in our nation’s history. For these reasons, I would like to see Minnesotans come together and support removing the Columbus memorial on the state capitol grounds.

Mareean Haynes