Sometime before 3:55 AM on Thursday, statues of Martin Luther King Jr. and Christopher Columbus were both targets of paint-splattering vandals. King’s bust in Bricker Park was splattered with white paint. Columbus’ statue, which is located 10 minutes away in Hermann Park, was doused in red paint. Both monuments have been cleaned and restored to good condition. The Columbus statue alone is said to have cost upwards of $3,000 to clean.
Despite the similarities, timing, and close proximity of the vandalisms, Houston police have not said whether they believe the crimes are connected. Should persons responsible be caught, they’ll likely be facing misdemeanor charges (i.e. a slap on the wrist).
These crimes took place during a time of national tension over Confederate statues. Some on the Alt-Left are calling for the destruction or removal of statues of Confederate veterans and slave owners, while many on the right demand that history be preserved and uncensored. Still others want the statues moved into museums and art galleries.
It’s ironic and frankly sickening that in a time when modern slavery — human trafficking and sex slavery — are rampant, what so many choose to fixate upon is 100+ year old lawn ornaments. It is hard to imagine that this is what Dr. King would have wanted.