Christopher Columbus statue toppled Taliban-style, thrown into lake in Virginia

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The defaced pedestal where a statue of Christopher Columbus once stood at Byrd Park in Richmond, Va. @marleynichelle via AP

Just as the Taliban destroyed cultural icons and historic decorations in Iraq, Syria and Afghanistan, extremists in the United States continue to desecrate and tear down inanimate objects that offend their “morals.”

This time it was a statue of Italian explorer Christopher Columbus that was torn down in a Richmond, Va. park on May 9, with the figure then being tossed into the water.

About 1,000 protesters were gathered at Byrd Park in Richmond when they decided to attach ropes to the statue and pull it down, according to the Richmond Times-Dispatch.

“We have to start where it all began,” activist Chelsea Higgs-Wise told the crowd, according to the paper. “We have to start with the people who stood first on this land.”

The destructive protesters surrounded the statue, which had been defaced with graffiti. One held a sign that said: “Columbus represents genocide.”

Whipping themselves into a frenzy with chants of “tear it down,” the demonstrators then used the rope to pull over the 8-foot statue.

The group then dragged the statue about 200 feet and dumped it into Byrd Park lake, as if statue, park and lake were all theirs to destroy.

The open vandalism came not long after a Virginia judge blocked the removal of a statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee in Richmond. Just as they did for the ISIS and the Taliban in the Middle East, historic landmarks have become the target of protesters since George Floyd died in police custody in Minneapolis.

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