Hudson County-Remove Columbus Tributes NOW!

Statue at Columbus Park in Hoboken
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Statue at Columbus Park in Hoboken

Dear Editor:

Dear Lawmakers and Regulators of Hudson County:

In light of recent events, we the citizens of Hudson County due hereby decree our support for radical and humane changes to the landscape of our beloved community. Hudson County boasts one of the most diverse communities in the United States. For many generations, people from communities of color have labored, prayed, dined, celebrated, and mourned with descendants of European immigrants. People of color make up roughly 33 percent of Hudson County’s population.

Every day, our citizens must endure racism at the workplace, financial institutions, and from our law enforcement. It is evident that when a nation celebrates its genocidal roots in its parks, schools, and transportation systems, it bears daily witness to systemic racism, covertly and overtly. This is both painful and terrifying for communities of color.

One of the most obvious and stunning displays of white supremacy is the commemoration of Christopher Columbus. Columbus killed millions of indigenous people through slavery and policies of systematic extermination. Under his rule, his men lynched in mass, murdered freely, and roasted innocent humans at the stake. Columbus was a known slaver of indigenous people, and facilitated the sexual exploitation of indigenous women and girls as young as nine. Our citizens must endure the daily anguish of this tribute, a tribute to a man that profited in blood and pain.

October 12, 1492, marks the beginning of genocide with the arrival of Christopher Columbus. One hundred million indigenous people were massacred on this continent. A genocide that exterminated 95 percvent of the native population. It is the largest and most atrocious genocide ever committed in the history of humanity. Descendants of the 5 percent that survived this genocide are known as Puerto Ricans, Dominicans, Cubans, Mexicans, Central Americans, South Americans, Native Americans.

Today, we stand together in solidarity with them and declare it is high time that we stand up and acknowledge the realities of Christopher Columbus’ deeds. We must remove his tributes, peacefully if possible, everywhere in Hudson County. We demand the immediate removal of the statue at Columbus Park on 10th & Clinton Street in Hoboken. We demand the immediate renaming of that park, to be replaced with a tribute to peace and fairness. We demand the immediate removal of the statue at the Journal Square transportation center in Jersey City, to be replaced with a commemoration of black empowerment.

We must acknowledge that celebrating Columbus and other white supremacists only endorse white supremacy and inhumane violence towards communities of color. We must systematically reeducate the sponsors and supporters of these tributes, we owe it to our youth.

Ariana Matos