- The Washington Times - Monday, August 21, 2017

A monument to Christopher Columbus that was over 200 years old was smashed with a sledgehammer Monday morning to combat a “culture of white supremacy.”

A YouTube channel titled “Popular Resistance” posted footage of men in hoodies destroying a monument to Columbus and his famous voyage in 1492. The individuals carried signs that read “Racism: Tear it down,” and “The future is racial and economic justice.”

The Baltimore Brew, an independent website run by veteran journalists, first reported on the crime, which took place near Herring Run Park.

“Racist monuments to slave owners and murderers have always bothered me,” a narrator identified as Tye says in his YouTube video. “Baltimore’s poverty is concentrated in African-American households, and these statues are just an extra slap in the face. They were built in the 20th century in response to a movement for African Americans’ human dignity. What kind of a culture goes to such lengths to build such hate-filled monuments? What kind of a culture clings to those monuments in 2017? The culture of white supremacy preceded the United States. It’s at the foundation of U.S. culture, business, bureaucracies and psychology.”

The text that was destroyed on the 44-foot-tall monument read: “Sacred to the Memory of Chris. Columbus Oct. XII MDCC VIIIC,” the Baltimore Brew reported.

Monday’s vandalism comes just days after the Baltimore City Council voted to begin removing the city’s Confederate monuments. City employees removed the Confederate Women’s Monument in Bishop Square Park, the Confederate Soldiers and Sailors Monument on Mount Royal Avenue, the Lee Jackson Monument in the Wyman Park Dell and a statue of Justice Roger Taney near the Washington Monument last week.

SEE ALSO: Baltimore removes Confederate monuments overnight

A national debate on controversial monuments began Aug. 12 after 32-year-old Heather Heyer was killed in Charlottesville, Virginia. Ms. Heyer was run over by a car driven by 20-year-old suspect James Alex Fields Jr. while white supremacists and counter-protesters argued over the removal of a Confederate statue depicting General Robert E. Lee.

• Douglas Ernst can be reached at dernst@washingtontimes.com.

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