Christopher Columbus discovers America (doesn't like him)

Andy Downing
The south lawn of Columbus City Hall features a Christopher Columbus statue. Photographed September 12, 2019.

In recent weeks, protesters have been filmed uprooting and discarding of statues that honor oppressive historical figures, such as slave trader Samuel Colston, whose likeness was tossed into a river by a crowd in Bristol, England.

Stateside, protesters have targeted statues of Christopher Columbus, who never really "discovered" America (it's been home to indigenous people for tens of thousands of years) and who was responsible for enslaving and killing thousands of native people.

In recent weeks, protesters in Massachusetts, Virginia and Minnesota have beheaded and defaced statues of the explorer, while other cities have stepped in to remove them in response to growing public pressure.

Here in Columbus, which also shares a name with the lost idiot (more on that later), there are a handful of statues dedicated to his existence. As of today, though, there is one fewer, with Columbus State Community College announcing that in the coming weeks it will dismantle and remove the explorer's likeness from its place on campus.

“In taking this action, we are being mindful of societal change and forward movement,” said Columbus State Board of Trustees President Anthony Joseph of the statue, which was originally created by sculptor Alfred Solani in 1959. “We do not seek to erase history, but to make an intentional shift in what we visibly honor and celebrate as an institution. This is the first of many steps in what will be a lengthy journey as the College seeks to build on and improve our historic and future efforts toward broadened diversity and inclusion.”

The Columbus statue on the south lawn of Columbus City Hall remains, for now, as does the name Columbus, despite a recent social media push to select a new city moniker. One popular suggestion: Flavortown, a tribute to Columbus native Guy Fieri.