SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — As the Christopher Columbus statue was removed from the state capitol Tuesday, Sacramento County Sheriff Scott Jones turned to Facebook to weigh in on the statue debate.
In a lengthy post, Jones argued that society is ignoring the contributions made by these historical figures and only focusing on their “biggest flaws.”
The sheriff went on to call out lawmakers, who he says lack courage and do nothing while history is being erased before our eyes. Columbus’ statue was removed by the state Tuesday after demonstrators tore down the Junipero Serra statue in the capitol garden over the weekend.
Legislative leaders announced the removal in June writing in a joint statement, Christopher Columbus is a deeply polarizing historical figure given the deadly impact his arrival in this hemisphere had on indigenous populations. The continued presence of this statue in California’s Capitol, where it has been since 1883, is completely out of place today. It will be removed.”
Several Republican senators opposed the move, signing a letter that urged leaders to keep the statue in place.
“…As misguided as Columbus may have been, history cannot be re-written, nor his accomplishments diminished,” the letter said.
A statue of John Sutter, one of Sacramento’s most prominent historical residents, was taken down by Sutter Health in June. In a statement, Sutter Health said the decision was made to remove the statue out of respect to people’s viewpoints and in the interest of public safety. In the days before it was removed, the Sutter statue was vandalized with red paint.
“Consider privately for a moment your biggest flaw, or the thing you are most embarrassed or ashamed about from your past. Perhaps something you regret now with the wisdom of age, life experience, or changing times. Perhaps something that doesn’t reflect you now, or the countless contributions you’ve made to your community, your field of employment, or your family…. Now suppose that one flaw defines you, your life. That nothing else you have ever done or will ever do will change it. Nobody will ever refer to you as anything else than that flaw, and anyone who says anything positive about you will instantly be shunned as if they fully endorse and support that flawed behavior rather than your positive qualities and contributions. Even when you pass from this earth nobody will dare say anything positive about you, and you will be forgotten from history for all eternity….. Seems wrong doesn’t it? It is just intuitively iniquitous to judge someone for their WORST decision or fault without tempering that with the positive contributions that were made. But sadly that is what’s happening with our history. No amount of contribution—the very contributions, incidentally, that created the free society that allows the lawless to destroy it—seems to matter. I find it ironic that everyone else passing judgment on our historical figures must be perfect, without flaws, to be judging others so harshly. We KNOW what these men and women of history have contributed—what have those who seek to destroy them contributed? Sadly, I expect nothing from lawless masses—they have been cultivated to feel shame for things they did not do, entitlement for things they did not earn, and hatred for things they know nothing about. No, my disappointment is directed to our elected officials—on BOTH sides of the aisle—that lack courage and do nothing but watch our history being erased before our eyes because of the few who scream the loudest.
Let’s have a discussion, let’s commit to a process, and let’s make deliberate decisions rather than devolving into mob rule.”