Baltimore City Council is considering a bill to rename the Columbus Obelisk monument in Herring Run Park to honor the victims of police brutality. The move comes as cities across the country re-examine monuments during a summer of national reckoning with racial injustice.
“This is not an attack on Italians. This is not an attack on white people,” insisted Councilman Ryan Dorsey of northeast Baltimore. “This is not an attack on history. This is us helping to right this ship that has been steered by white supremacy as a system.”
The Democrat introduced the legislation to rename the monument, which stands 44 feet high in the Northeast Baltimore park..
Originally, the white stucco obelisk stood at North Avenue and Harford Road. It was erected in 1792 and is the oldest U.S. monument to Columbus. In 2017, protestors took a sledgehammer to it, decrying the violence and slavery the explorer inflicted on indigenous people. Baltimore’s Commission for Historical and Architectural Preservation restored the monument afterward.