What happened after Charlottesville?


Lesley Gonzalez, Review Staff

Feature Photo By: Lesley Gonzalez – Outside of the Colorado State Capitol in Denver, there is a Civil War monument of a soldier with a rifle. This monument is set to represent the soldiers who fought in the Civil War.

Many feel as though racism is something that hasn’t died out and still continues to rise and grow throughout America. Lately, there have been a series of violent events occurring here in the United States. These violent notions consist of protests and people vandalizing several memorials, including statues being graffitied and/or burned.

After the massive protest that occurred in Charlottesville, Virginia, news outlets covered massive amounts of people vandalizing memorials around several states. Many in Colorado, including here at Rangeview, wonder how this will affect monuments and statues scattered around the state. 

On August 13, 2017 in Atlanta, Georgia, several protesters vandalized and destroyed what is known as the Peace Monument. Considering the response of the people’s anger towards the Charlottesville protest, it is believed that protesters in Atlanta mistook the peace monument as a Confederate statue. The monument was an angel telling the soldier to put his weapon down, which signified peace.

Rangeview English teacher Mrs. Gebhart said, “It’s disrespectful because there’s a time and a place, but I understand why people are mad because some memorials symbolize hate which should never be demonstrated. There needs to be more education on why those memorials exist and those people that are angry should have a different platform on how to express their anger.”

On Monday, August 14, 2017, a seventeen-year-old male from Malden, Massachusetts shattered the glass panels of the Holocaust Memorial in Boston. This was the second time the memorial had been vandalized during the summer of 2017. Witnesses of this incident told reporters that the 17 year old male appeared to have thrown a rock at the glass panel, destroying it. Police say they are still investigating the incident. 

The words mounted on the statue above include names of war governors and military organizations in the Civil War. The slate is also outside of the Colorado State Capitol in Denver. (Lesley Gonzalez)

Also believed to be on August 14, 2017, a monument in Baltimore was destroyed with a sledgehammer. The monument  was 225 years old and dedicated to Christopher Columbus. Due to this incident, New York City is planning to take down its own Christopher Columbus statue because officials feel as though it symbolizes hate.

Furthermore, on August 15, 2017, the Abraham Lincoln memorial in D.C. was vandalized with spray paint. Contributing to this, on August 16, 2017, a couple days after the Charlottesville protest, an Abraham Lincoln bust was damaged in West Englewood of Chicago.

Carlos Ulibarri, a Rangeview senior, mentioned, “It is really disturbing to think that people think it is fine to do something so discriminating. It really is appalling to know that there is that much hate in this world. To destroy or burn something with so much historical significance…”

As of recently, in Arizona on August 17, 2017, a monument dedicated to Jefferson Davis in was tarred and feathered.

Because of the vandalizing throughout several states in the U.S., many monuments/statues are being taken down and relocated or being cleaned up by the authorities.

Senior Karina Estrada stated, “.. I think they should be destroyed.. we shouldn’t be proud that we had civil war and Confederate states mainly because you don’t see Germany being proud of their Nazi heritage…The United States should be ashamed of the KKK and white supremacist groups, I feel like we are better than that as a country and I feel like that’s not what the Founding Fathers would have wanted.”

After the massive protest that occurred in Charlottesville, many people have mixed feelings about the vandalism that has happened across America. Some people argue to take down the memorials all together, but others say to keep them since they are a part of history.