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San Antonio Columbus Statue, Park Reevaluated Amid Nationwide Racial Reckoning

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Dallas Williams // Texas Public Radio

As the nation continues to reckon with its fraught racial history, there are new calls to remove a statue of Christopher Columbus from downtown San Antonio.

The Christopher Columbus Italian Society of San Antonio is in talks with District 1 City Council member Roberto Treviño to rename Columbus Park and safely remove a statue honoring the controversial 15th-century explorer.

Statues of European explorers such as Columbus as well as monuments to Confederate leaders, slaveholders and other contentious figures have been vandalized or toppled recently by anti-racism protesters who say they are symbols of hate that literally put America's racist, violent history on a pedestal. 

Why was the statue originally erected and where will it go once withdrawn? What new names are being considered for the park where it currently resides?

Some consider the removal of these monuments to be an erasure of history itself. Is resistance expected from self-proclaimed defenders of Texas' historical markers?

The explorer’s legacy has been controversial for quite some time. Why is the statue's removal only being considered now? Have local Indigenous groups been included in these discussions?

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*This interview was recorded on Tuesday, June 23.

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Kim Johnson is the producer for Texas Public Radio’s live, call-in show The Source. She is a Trinity University alum with bachelor’s degrees in Communication and Spanish, and a Master of Arts Degree from the School of Journalism at the University of Texas at Austin.