Regarding the Columbus statue issue, “use the same tools used by environmentalists to solve problems”

Latest in a series of posts on the Columbus monument

Bud Hackett is a Bethlehem resident who raised 4 kids in the City. He recently became very interested in quality of life issues in the city and hopes to offer a balance to the approach City Council is taking.

Gadfly:

To solve the Columbus Statue issue, use the same tools used by environmentalists to solve problems.

If 120 petitioners want to tear down or “cancel” the Columbus statue in the Rose Garden, I suggest the petitioners raise the money to:
1) take the statue down,
2) move the statue to an agreed upon location,
3) replace the statue with a city – wide (not just a small group) consensus statue at the location.

Why do we accept that an extremist group of 120 should dictate to the City what statues we should have in our public space?

Bud

7 thoughts on “Regarding the Columbus statue issue, “use the same tools used by environmentalists to solve problems”

  1. Mr. Hackett, the 120 who signed the petition, and many more who wished they had the opportunity, have not shown in any way that they are extremists. You exhibit more of an extremist attitude. They are not attempting to dictate what statues we should have, only one statue they believe we should not have. Do you understand the difference?

  2. I find it ludicrous to assume there is a fringe radical group of 120 people driving societal change here in the Lehigh Valley, the debate about Columbus, his holiday & statues of him has been going on all across the country for several years. As a taxpayer I have already paid my fair share & am at a loss to learn how I should be required to pay additional fees to address a statue on property that belongs to the citizens of Bethlehem.

  3. I disagree with Mr. Hackett.

    First of all, environmentalists* are not expected to pay for other people’s crimes out of their own pockets. The most-common environmental issues involve pollution — where individuals or corporations seek to avoid costs and increase profits by allowing their processes to harm innocent people. To address these problems, they try to make the harm visible and raise awareness through protests and information campaigns, and they demand that the government enforce laws & regulations that prohibit such actions. In some cases, may use legal action to require new laws to protect their rights. In some cases, they may sue to try to force compliance.

    * By ‘environmentalists, does Mr. Hackett mean people who support the PA Constitution, which says that “The people have a right to clean air, pure water, and to the preservation of the natural, scenic, historic and esthetic values of the environment. Pennsylvania’s public natural resources are the common property of all the people, including generations yet to come. As trustee of these resources, the Commonwealth shall conserve and maintain them for the benefit of all the people.”

    Back to Columbus — I don’t see anything extreme about asking the city not to honor a person who, as we now know, was a brutal, racist slave trader who murdered and mutilated hundreds of Indigenous people. Although the terms hadn’t yet been defined, today we call such actions war crimes, crimes against humanity, and genocide. Why should they pay to correct something endorsed by the city and located on city property?

  4. This little discussion brought to mind a connection of sorts between post WW II times and today. For reasons unstated, it seemed as though WW II vets and others were often VOLUNTEERS whereas many in todays America are ACTIVISTS. How might this relate to Mr. Hacketts statement: “I suggest the petitioners raise the money” ? Volunteers continue to be unpaid while Activist often is a paying job.

    Government involvement has upped the ante in many cases through laws, ordinances and our society has become more litigious. Destruction of monuments by activists may allow them to be revenged but it is not justice nor does it promote justice. Law trumps anarchy but justice trumps law (pun NOT intended).

  5. Im wondering if you personally know any paid activists? I know many activists, none of them paid. If you are thinking of movements loke the Sunrise Movement, for example, they have a handful of paid (not well paid, but paid) organizers, but the activist members are not paid.

  6. You write: “they have a handful of paid (not well paid, but paid) organizers, but the activist members are not paid”; this is true and I believe my use of ACTIVISTS and Activist reflects that.

    I enjoyed your parenthetical remark; I thought of that when writing, chuckled at the thought and decided not to use it.

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