Residents of Minnesota are petitioning to replace the Christopher Columbus statue at the State Capitol in St. Paul with one of late musician, Prince.
Over 5,500 people have signed the petition, addressed to Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton and the Minnesota State Legislature.
‘Across the nation, city governments are choosing to remove statues of white supremacists, slave owners, and those who threatened the livelihood of Black people,’ the petition description reads.
‘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. 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.’
Price, the androgynous musician, was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota in 1958. He died of an accidental overdose in Chanhassen, Minnesota in 2016.
‘Prince represents Minnesota values and Columbus does not,’ the petition states.
Watchtheyard.com spoke with Wintana Melekin, the creator of the petition.
‘I spend a lot of time at our State Capitol. It’s a space that already does not feel inviting or inclusive to communities of color,’ Melekin said.
‘So to see Columbus every day in front of the building does not make it feel more welcoming. So I put the petition together because I wanted to see someone, Prince, at the capitol because he represents a part of Minnesota that we are all proud of.’
‘The replacement of Columbus is about the deep history of white supremacy and colonialism in the United States and the need for Minnesota to lead the country in this moment. Plus we all know Prince is a genius and who wouldn’t pick him over Columbus anyway,’ Melekin continued.
What are people saying?
However, some on Twitter aren’t convinced that a Prince statue would be apropos, considering his 9-year-old comment opposing gay marriage.
Minnesota leftists are hell-bent on replacing every statue with Prince.
A Jehovah’s Witness that opposed gay marriage.
— eric (@eriContrarian) September 7, 2017
Others, though, are totally on board with the replacement idea.
Fuck just one statue . Minnesota should replace all of their statues with ones of Prince. Every. Single. One.
— Hal O’ Be Thy Name (@Halbeerz) September 3, 2017
— Chelsea Friend (@kiwifreund) August 27, 2017
Minnesota Columbus statue might be replaced with a Prince statue.
— initialAC* (@initialAC) September 9, 2017
GSN has reached out to Wintana Melekin for comment.