Republicans in the Minnesota Senate have renewed their push to have the Christopher Columbus statue that protesters toppled last summer, repaired and re-installed on the State Capitol grounds. Alexandria Republican Bill Ingebrigtsen says it was originally put up by the state’s Italian American community which faced discrimination early in the 20th century:
“Everybody in the state of Minnesota owns this, and everybody in the state of Minnesota comes to see this, and there seems to be a push to remove our history.”
Minneapolis Democrat Omar Fateh responds Christopher Columbus was a colonizer, mass-murderer and rapist:
“To restore the statue to its original place with taxpayer money is a giant slap in the face of our native brothers and sisters.”
Lieutenant Governor Peggy Flanagan, who chairs a special committee that oversees Capitol monuments, has resisted attempts to re-install the Columbus statue.
She said last summer right after it was toppled:
“I will not shed a tear over the loss of a statue that honored someone who, by… his own admission, sold nine- and 10-year-old girls into sex slavery.”