Virginia Columbus statue toppled, set on fire earlier this week
HOUSTON -- A Christopher Columbus statue at a park in Houston has been vandalized -- again.
As in previous incidents, vandals tossed what appears to be red paint on the 7-foot-tall statue, which is located at Houston's Bell Park. The statue also bears a cardboard sign with the message, "Rip the head from your oppressor."
It's not clear when exactly the statue, which was commissioned by the Italian American Organizations of Greater Houston Inc., was vandalized.
Still, it comes at a time when monuments, especially those honoring Confederacy leaders, have been toppled during anti-racism demonstrations.
Wednesday night in Virginia, protesters tore down the statue of Confederate President Jefferson Davis. In Portsmouth, about 80 miles away, protesters beheaded and then pulled down four statues that were part of a Confederate monument, according to media outlets.
In London, England, protesters dismounted the statue of notorious slave trader Edward Colston and tossed it into Bristol Harbour.
Even though Columbus is not tied to the Confederacy, critics have said he should be viewed not as a hero who "discovered" America, but as a foreign conqueror who enslaved natives.
A statue of Columbus was also toppled and burned in Richmond, Virginia, earlier this week. That figure also had a sign, this one reading, "Columbus represents genocide."
This is far from the first time the statue at Bell Park has been vandalized.
It was defaced in 2018 multiple times.