"Prince represents Minnesota values and Columbus does not," the petition reads.
Amid the anti-racism protests that have erupted all over the country in the wake of George Floyd's death, people are calling for several statues to be removed. Whether it's Theodore Roosevelt's statue outside the Natural History Museum in New York or residents of Tennessee recently calling for state officials to replace racist statues with one of local hero Dolly Parton, there is a social transformation that's evident today. The time has come when we abandon the history of racism and oppression in all forms and embrace a world of unity amongst all people.
According to the Independent, a group of citizens in Minnesota are now taking a similar approach and have launched a petition with a definite goal in mind. They want to remove a statue of Christopher Columbus that is located on the grounds of the state capitol. In its place, you are not going to believe it... but they want to build a statue of legendary musician Prince Rogers Nelson. This is an amazing turning point in American history as people start to acknowledge individuals who actually stood up against racism and those who propagated it.
Seattle already has Hendrix if I remember correctly— Nick (@nick_proch) June 23, 2020
“Across the nation, city governments are choosing to remove statues of white supremacists, slave owners, and those who threatened the livelihood of Black people. Here in Minnesota, communities are reigniting the demand to bring down state’s monument to Christopher Columbus, a man who murdered, raped, and enslaved Black and Native peoples in the Americas,” the petition reads, ToneDeaf reports. “We, the undersigned, do not believe that Columbus represents the values Minnesotans carry. Rather than glorify a man who wanted to extinguish Black and Native peoples, we should honor members of our community whose leadership we find inspirational.”
Put up a Prince statue, cowards. pic.twitter.com/sODL6MBaq8— Purple FTW! Podcast (@PurpleForTheWin) June 19, 2020
In other words, the petition goes on to add that: "Prince represents Minnesota values and Columbus does not." Interestingly enough, this petition was actually started way back in 2017, much before the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis. However, since the ongoing nationwide racial uncertainty, the petition has definitely come back to life with almost 10,000 signatures to date. There are a lot of reasons as to why this surge in popularity has come in favor of Prince over Columbus. Firstly, unlike Columbus, Prince is actually a native of the state of Minnesota. He had lived and worked in the state through most of his life and his cremated ashes still reside at his former home and studio at Paisley Park in Chanhassen, MN.
Columbus discovered nothing.— Derrick With #43 (@DerrickFGilliam) June 24, 2020
1st. There people already here
2nd. He wasn't even 1st or 2nd to cross the atlantic
Now consider Columbus' story for a minute. He was all for genociding Native Americans and Africans and records state that he tortured and mutilated thousands of indigenous people all over the land. This lies in stark contrast to Prince who was a staunch social justice warrior even though they lived in different eras, Compass Point reports. Prince fought for creative and artistic freedom while helping female musicians of color gain some foothold in the industry. The late singer also used his music as a way to highlight certain racial and political issues. His song 'Baltimore' for instance, addresses the deaths of black men at the hands of police. For all this, there isn't a single statue of him in his own home state and that has nothing to do with the fact that Columbus got one despite being a racist.