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Category: Monuments

I Read Donald Trump’s 2020 Columbus Day Proclamation So You Don’t Have To

I Read Donald Trump’s 2020 Columbus Day Proclamation So You Don’t Have To

I was a bit surprised that the administration managed to get their Columbus Day Proclamation done this year, given all the chaos in the White House. So many people seem to be out sick. But on the 9th of October, a couple of days in advance of the holiday, President Trump called upon Americans to join him and “commemorate the great Italian who opened a new chapter in world history and to appreciate his enduring significance to the Western Hemisphere.”…

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Wisdom Sits in Places

Wisdom Sits in Places

Mission San Gabriel burned over the weekend, suffering devastating damage. No conclusions have been drawn about the cause of the fire, but some suspect arson. Though nobody I have read has said anything, I wonder if anyone has made a connection between possible arson and recent attempts to remove monuments to the Franciscan missionary Junipero Serra. He founded the Mission San Gabriel in 1771. On Monday morning the Los Angeles Times ran a well-reported story about the mission and its…

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Confronting Colonialism and Genocide in Father Serra’s Town

Confronting Colonialism and Genocide in Father Serra’s Town

As I walk around my home town, the legacy of colonialism is everywhere. The most immediately relevant manifestation of this colonial past is the large statue of Junipero Serra that stands in front of Ventura’s City Hall. Serra established the Spanish Mission San Buenaventura in 1782, and is widely viewed as the city’s founder. Three of the four middle schools in the Ventura Unified School District–Balboa, DeAnza, and Cabrillo–are named after Spanish explorers of the Pacific. The “Serra Cross” stands…

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