HOUSTON, Texas — Vandals apparently defaced a Christopher Columbus statue in Houston, Texas, on Thursday night shortly before a “Destroy the Confederacy” protest scheduled for Saturday.
Breitbart Texas reported on Thursday that a “Destroy the Confederacy” protest is planned for Sam Houston Park across from City Hall this weekend. Organizers warn on their protest notice – “*Do NOT bring children.”
An organization “committed to protecting Texas and Texas History,” This Is Texas Freedom Force (TITFF), say demonstrators intend to tear down a Confederate statue in the park. They also warn there will be violence. Black Lives Matter of Houston, one of the organizers of the protest, has told protesters to meet at the “Spirit of the Confederacy Statute.” There have been cries by groups to have the monument in the park removed.
The Houston Chronicle reports that a Christopher Columbus statue in a Houston neighborhood was apparently defaced with red paint. The statue was reported to be in Bell Park in the Montrose neighborhood, near downtown Houston and the Museum of Fine Arts. The article also states that a police officer in the city was at the park late Thursday night but could not confirm whether the Christopher Columbus statue was vandalized.
A change.org online petition has been started to petition the City of Houston to “Remove Houston’s Confederate Monument.” At this time, its sights are aimed at the “Spirit of the Confederacy monument. Approximately 2,500 supporters have signed on. The petition states:
The Confederacy represents not only treason against the United States but a system of institutionalized terrorism against non-white people and a militant defense of one of the most brutal forms of chattel slavery to ever exist in human history.
We do not seek to erase this past from our history; what we seek is to erase attempts to romanticize, praise, and glorify this past. All students should be taught the history of the [C]onfederacy and the crimes against humanity for which it stood. We should all be reminded of our past so that we can see the present in its full context.
The petitioners ask that the Confederate statue is replaced with a monument erected to: “a) Victims of Slavery, b) Abraham Lincoln or c) Fallen Soldiers of the Union in the Civil War.”
The Democrat mayor of the nation’s fourth most populous city, Mayor Sylvester Turner, asked officials this week to study whether Confederate statues should be removed from city property.
Breitbart News reported Thursday that a new poll by NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist shows that 62 percent of the respondents said Confederate statues honoring leaders should remain. Twenty-seven percent said they should be taken down, and eleven percent said they were unsure. Respondents included 36 percent Democrats, 26 percent Republicans and 37 Independents.
The city of Houston is named after General Sam Houston, the leader at the Battle of San Jacinto which ended the Texas Revolution. General Houston became the president of the Republic of Texas and then governor. Houston was removed from office when he would not swear allegiance to the Confederacy. He was a slave owner.