Events of recent weeks demand that I pick up from my comments posted in the December Camden News, which I recommend any interested parties seek out on their website (camdennews.org).
I’ll begin by expressing my hope (fingers crossed) that our educators at Patrick Henry H.S., and others, to whom we trust to teach the next generation, are explaining the difference between lawful protest and the mob rule taking place these past weeks in our town and across this nation. Civil societies cannot exist without the rule of law and the mob who tore down the statue of Christopher Columbus on our capitol grounds was just that. A mob. Regardless of how they feel, or how they say they’ve been wronged. They broke the law plain and simple.
It’s my understanding that this statue of Columbus stood on our capitol grounds since 1931. Installed with nothing but good intentions to celebrate, not so much Columbus himself, but Italian Americans and their achievements in America, their adoptive country. My ancestry is Polish. My predecessors came to this county around 1890. Were there atrocities and genocides witnessed by my ancestors in Europe? Hell yeah, you can be sure of that. But that’s just the way it was… world was a more brutal place and it’s in the past. I personally don’t fret on what was, but am only grateful for the freedoms I have, and hope for a better world for my children.
Tearing down a statue removes any chance for a teaching opportunity. To explain to next generations both the good and bad, the wrongs and rights of history. If these examples are lost, aren’t future generations (50-100 yrs from now) possibly at risk of repeating similar mistakes? It’s not inconceivable.
It’s very hard for this resident to believe that in this mainly liberal bastion of the Twin Cities that those bent on this unlawful destruction could not have simply taken the proper route for the legal removal of the statue. I’ve no doubt that they would have garnered a fair amount of support. Remember Lake Calhoun, now Bde Maka Ska? Now would I as a resident have been in agreement, no, but if the lawful process had been followed, I would have accepted the outcome regardless because that is what civilized people do.