A petition to replace the Minnesota Christopher Columbus statue with one of Prince has gained traction.
The petition has already gained over 10,000 signatures, and argues, "Prince represents Minnesota values and Columbus does not".
Columbus' statue is located in the Saint Paul area of Minnesota. Although the petition was originally launched over two years ago, the petition has recently gained traction due to the ongoing Black Lives Matter protests, which has resulted in other statues related to the slave trade being torn down.
The petition reads, "Across the nation, city governments are choosing to remove statues of white supremacists, slave owners, and those who threatened the livelihood of Black people. Here in Minnesota, communities are reigniting the demand to bring down state’s monument to Christopher Columbus, a man who murdered, raped and enslaved Black and Native peoples in the Americas."
"We, the undersigned, do not believe that Columbus represents the values Minnesotans carry," the petition adds. "Rather than glorify a man who wanted to extinguish Black and Native peoples, we should honor members of our community whose leadership we find inspirational. We, the undersigned, up submit that the Governor Dayton and the Minnesota State Legislature replace the statue of Columbus with statues representative of Minnesota’s Black and Native communities."
The petition, launched by Wintana Melekin, features two parts. It urges that the State Capitol statue should be replaced with one "chosen by [the] Native community" outside the Capitol, and one of Prince in a different location.