One of the nation’s oldest monuments was vandalized late Sunday night, with activists filming themselves taking a sledgehammer to a 44-foot-tall Baltimore obelisk dedicated to Christopher Columbus and then posting the video online.
According to the Baltimore Brew, the inscription on the 225-year-old monument was severely damaged with the activists leaving a sign reading: “Racism — Tear it down.”
The now-destroyed inscription read: “Sacred to the Memory of Chris. Columbus Oct. XII MDCC VIIIC.”
In the video posted by the activists, the narrator explains, “Christopher Columbus symbolizes the initial invasion of European capitalism into the Western Hemisphere. Columbus initiated a centuries-old wave of terrorism, murder, genocide, rape, slavery, ecological degradation and capitalist exploitation of labor in the Americas.”
“Racist monuments to slave owners and murderers have always bothered me. Baltimore’s poverty is concentrated in African-American households, and these statues are just an extra slap in the face. They were built in the 20th century in response to a movement for African Americans’ human dignity,” the narrator continues. “What kind of a culture goes to such lengths to build such hate-filled monuments? What kind of a culture clings to those monuments in 2017?”
The destruction of the monument follows in the wake of many localities taking down statues honoring members of the Confederacy and protesters in Durham, North Carolina toppling a statue honoring soldiers of the Confederacy.
You can watch video of the sledgehammer assault below via YouTube: