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The Columbus statue incident was a missed opportunity to learn | READER COMMENTARY

Christopher Columbus is depicted in the bas reliefs on the base of the statue that was dedicated to the city by Italian-Americans of Maryland and Baltimore in 1984. On Saturday night protesters pulled down the 17-ton marble statue, and dragged it to the nearby harbor where it was dumped, leaving only the base behind. July 5, 2020
Christopher Columbus is depicted in the bas reliefs on the base of the statue that was dedicated to the city by Italian-Americans of Maryland and Baltimore in 1984. On Saturday night protesters pulled down the 17-ton marble statue, and dragged it to the nearby harbor where it was dumped, leaving only the base behind. July 5, 2020 (Amy Davis / Baltimore Sun)

Rosalia Scalia gave one of the most convincing arguments why Christopher Columbus should never have been memorialized from the start with the construction of a statue (”Italian American: Columbus not an apt representation of my heritage,” July 8).

The tearing down of the Christopher Columbus statue on President Street and subsequent dumping of it into the harbor on July 4th might have been viewed as an attack and affront on Italian American contributions to America, but to me, an African-American, it is lawlessness (”Christopher Columbus statue near Little Italy brought down, tossed into Baltimore’s Inner Harbor,” July 4). It is also an opportunity for the Black community to teach younger generations about the Black experience in this country.

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I am a Black man, born and raised in this country. I don’t fully agree with the removal of this statue and many other historical monuments that we have seen torn down in the wake of racial protest. This is why: When we try to erase history or change history, we forget the lessons taught and history has a way of repeating itself. What people should ask themselves is: What can be learned and applied to bring about change?

Rather than tearing down statues, why not put together a petition with thousands of signatures to have Columbus Day removed as a national holiday as well as the commemoration of other historical figures we deem on the wrong side of history?

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Although, people should not forget about history, we must look beyond our pain and frustration to see a larger vision of the future. Only then will we take full advantage of the opportunities in history, like our current social and political environment, to see lasting change take place in this country.

Marlowe Wright, Baltimore

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