This photo of a statue of Junipero Serra located at Capitol Park in Sacramento accompanies a Reddit discussion started four days ago as to whether the statue should remain. Protesters didn’t wait for a committee to decide the statue’s fate, however, and brought it down themselves last night.
I had passed that infernal statue a million times — the statue of Spanish Roman Catholic Priest Junipero Serra, who in the latter half of the 1700s was instrumental in colonizing for Spain what is now California — in Capitol Park, the grounds that surround the California Capitol in Sacramento.
The monument to Serra and the Spanish mission system had a statue of Serra lording over a map of the state of California and its Spanish missions that Serra helped establish. The statue and its accompanying map of the missions clearly was a monument to the European colonization of the “new” world.
While to European colonizers the Spanish missions were a great thing, to the Native Americans who languished under the Spanish mission system — and who died from the diseases that the Spanish and other European colonizers brought with them, decimating their populations — the Spanish missions were something else.
I found the continued existence of the Serra statue and monument in Capitol Park — which was erected in 1965 — to be offensive, and I’m a white man.
So I was delighted to read today that the statue was toppled by protesters last night. (Had I known how easy it apparently was to topple the fucking thing, I might have given it a few kicks myself…)
I guess that this local act was part of what “President” Pussygrabber on the eve of the Fourth of July called “a merciless campaign to wipe out our history, defame our heroes, erase our values and indoctrinate our children.”
That fascist rhetoric is just meant to cover up the actual dynamics at work here, which include the fact that the baby boomers, of which the “president” is one, failed miserably to bring about the fair and just society that, as flower children, they had said they would.
No, instead, the baby boomers, as a generation, have brought nothing new to the American table. Indeed, they’re just parasites. They simply adopted, with little to no question, the “patriotic,” white nationalist claptrap handed down to them by their parents, “the greatest generation” — even if that meant venerating the obviously evil colonization of other peoples by white Europeans. (This was “God’s will” or something like that, you see.)
The boomers always have been nothing but sponges; first they sponged off of the supposed greatness of the generation before them, and now they sponge off of the generations that follow them, ensuring that they wipe out the nation’s wealth (largely if not mostly simply handed down to them by their parents) on such frivolities as cruises, McMansions and plastic surgeries instead of passing the nation’s wealth down to the next generations.
Because the baby boomers didn’t correct the wrongs of the past — in no small part because, as most of the baby boomers are white, they have benefitted richly from the United States’ long and ugly history of colonization — today’s younger people have picked up the mantle and are doing that work. More power to them.
By toppling statues of colonizers and fascists, no one is trying to “wipe out our history.” You don’t see statues of Adolf Hitler in American public spaces, yet Hitler hardly has been lost to history. We don’t need statues of and monuments for evil people in public places in order to preserve history. We have a plethora of books, films, recordings, documents, museums, libraries, universities, etc. in which history is being well preserved.
When “President” Pussygrabber says that our youthful protesters are “defaming our heroes,” which “heroes” are those, exactly? Are Confederate leaders “heroes”? They were pro-slavery and they blatantly committed treason after the abolitionist President Abraham Lincoln was duly elected by seceding from the Union before Lincoln was even inaugurated. Are those who abused, exploited, enslaved, raped and murdered — and, again, decimated — Native Americans, such as Junipero Serra and Christopher Columbus, “heroes”?
When our youthful protesters seek to “erase our values,” which values, exactly, are those? Do we still value the colonization of other peoples? How would we modern Americans like to be taken over by a more powerful group of people, told by our colonizers that it’s for our own benefit when clearly it is only for the benefit of our colonizers? Is Pussygrabber talking about the “value” of preserving slavery? Should that “value” be preserved by preserving statues, monuments and other public displays that venerate the Confederacy?
And let’s please talk about “indoctrinating our children.” Funny how the fascists among us — and fascists by definition are right-wing; there is no such fucking thing as “far-left fascism,” as Pussygrabber recently declared in front of Mount Rushmore, on which his fat fascist face never will be carved — act as though they have no wish to indoctrinate our children.
Oh, please. The school textbook wars alone demonstrate that the right wing very much is interested in indoctrinating our children — in their evil. Among other things, they want to shove backasswards fundamental “Christianity,” wage-slave capitalism, anti-intellectualism (which includes antipathy to science and to environmentalism), white supremacy and heterosexism down our children’s throats. These “Christo”fascists don’t want our children to even know that there is any alternative to the hellish worldview that they present to them as their only option.
True, it’s at least arguably better to remove offensive statues, monuments and other public displays in a manner that follows the so-called democratic system.
For example, a white marble statue of Christopher Columbus that inexplicably has been in the California Capitol for more than a century is going to be removed, Democratic state lawmakers — whose power was invested in them by a majority of the state’s voters — have decided.
I have seen that statue a million times, too, and always fucking wondered why a statue of Columbus, who never set foot in what is now California, is venerated in the state Capitol, unless we’re to venerate the brutal colonization of the continent that he helped start for the benefit of the monarchy of Spain. (Indeed, Junipero Serra and many others like him continued Columbus’ “work.”)
It’s nice that the statue of Columbus in the state Capitol is being removed by the system. But the system doesn’t always work. No doubt the Catholic church, for instance, would have opposed the removal of the Serra monument in Capitol Park.
After all, as Wikipedia notes, “Amid denunciations from Native American tribes who accused Serra of presiding over a brutal colonial enslavement, Pope Francis canonized Serra on September 23, 2015, at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, D.C., during his first visit to the United States.”
If the Catholics think that patently evil men like Junipero Serra are so fucking great, they can keep the statues of them in the fucking Vatican.
Members of the American public, meanwhile, shouldn’t be assaulted by this right-wing propaganda — and blatant evil — which is given validity when it is enshrined in statues, monuments and other public displays.
P.S. Here is what the monument to Junipero Serra in Capitol Park looks like now:
Yes, according to the photo’s caption, apparently that’s a deluded, brainwashed Catholic (redundant) mourning the “loss” of the monument to “Saint” Serra, apparently wholly disregarding the evil that he and those like him perpetrated upon others.