Group aims to remove Detroit's Columbus statue, don't want history erased

Posted at 5:35 PM, Sep 08, 2017
and last updated 2017-09-09 10:26:47-04

A group has created a petition to get the Christopher Columbus statue on Jefferson Avenue taken down in Detroit.

The Raiz Up collective said there is a darkness in the shadows of history, and the group has started a petition to take the statue down and replace it with a "real hero."

The effort has been getting a mixed reaction.

"Well, you don't have to take him out of history. You just don't have to have a statue for him downtown. If he wasn't a good guy, then why should we have a statue, right?" said Mike Fischer.

"I believe the statue should stay and they should add on," said Dr. Shirley Oliver. "They should add the Indians and other leaders that were here. Tell the truth about why that statue is here."

The group wants to replace the statue with a cultural or political figure.

One of the suggestions is a statue of Chief Pontiac, who led a rebellion against the British troops during the French and Indian War.

"It is what it is: history," said Pat Carranza. "They don't like it, then don't read it. It's going to show our kids and their kids what the U.S. was built on, whether good or bad."

Carranza said he is Native American and doesn't have a problem with Columbus as much as he does with other historical figures.

"The forefathers on Mt. Rushmore, those ain't the real fathers," he said. "The natives are."

The petition has more than 15,000 signatures right now.