It’s a hate-crime to paint over a BLM street “mural” only a few days old, but destroying a statue of a white historic figure, for whom numerous localities in the United States are named, is a case of “people will do what they do.”
Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Thursday refused to condemn a mob that toppled and shoved a statue of Christopher Columbus into Baltimore’s Inner Harbor on the July 4 weekend.
Pelosi went on to liken a destructive, inflamed mob with “the community” in Baltimore.
“If the community doesn’t want the statue there, the statue shouldn’t be there,” said Pelosi, who is originally from the Maryland city.
“It’s up to the communities to decide what statues they want to see,” Pelosi said, adding that the toppling of the Columbus statue “doesn’t diminish my pride in my Italian American heritage,” and therefore should not bother anyone else either.
When asked whether a commission should decide what statues go rather than protesters, Pelosi responded: “People will do what they do.”
On Independence Day, a crowd pulled down the Columbus statue located near Little Italy, dragged it to the edge of the Inner Harbor and rolled it into the water. About 300 people were gathered around the area during the incident. A dive team recovered pieces of the statue two days later after people in the Little Italy neighborhood tried unsuccessfully to salvage the statue with a rope.
Even though Pelosi brushed off the destruction of historic public property, Baltimore Mayor Bernard Young said on July 9 that those responsible for the incident will face justice.
Young said the incident did not represent a peaceful protest. The mayor, who lost last month’s Democratic primary and will leave office in December, said the protesters cannot “erase history. You learn from it.”