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Saving Columbus

Empower Wisconsin | Sept. 1, 2020 

By M.D. Kittle 

MADISON — The Cancel Culture came for Christopher Columbus in the south-central Wisconsin town named after the embattled explorer. Now some residents are stepping up to give his statue a home.

“If you need to move the statue of Christopher Columbus you can put it on my front patio at the coffee shop, For as long as needed,” Julie Hornbacher, owner of Julie’s Java House recently posted on Facebook. “I have a huge problem with the fact that non tax payers and non voters can tell us and our council what to do. I own 3 properties in Columbus. People this is getting crazy.”

Bowing to pressure from the perpetually aggrieved, the Columbus City Council earlier this summer voted 4-1 to remove the fibreglass statue that has greeted the community and its visitors for more than 30 years. 

It’s now hidden away in some undisclosed location as the city takes requests for proposals from “community and cultural organizations” on how the Columbus statue could be re-used “in and around the city of Columbus,” the RFP states. It notes that interested parties outside of Columbus with “serious interest” may also submit proposals for consideration. 

The Knights of Columbus has expressed interest in housing the statue, but Columbus memorials and groups that celebrate the life of the famous but controversial explorer are anathema in the tear-it-down world of the radical left. And, Hornbacher says, the left is screaming the loudest now. 

“I offered to take it if they won’t let the Knights of Columbus have it. We’ll have it here,” the business owner said, adding that she’s willing to put up statues on her other private properties. 

Hornbacher said plenty of citizens are fed up with the Cancel Culture and its campaign to tear down and scratch out American history that offends them. Columbus, historical documents show us, treated native populations he encountered horribly, but he also opened the door to a nation that serves as a beacon of liberty and representative democracy.

Hornbacher worries that her fellow residents have grown tired of fighting back. 

“People are upset, but now it’s (the statue) is gone. It’s part of the past. People are so sick of fighting about every little thing,” she said. 

And the Cancel Culture won’t be sated by toppling statues. Its members demand silence from their political enemies, and they will do whatever it takes to get it. 

“It’s scary as a business owner. I would love to be more verbal, do more stuff,” said Hornbacher, who added that she has started a local conservative women’s group. “But if you have signs out, it’s like putting a large target on you. And if you say anything publicly, you’re a racist.” 

Columbus is not alone. Scores of statues deemed part of the United States’ ‘historic and systemic racism and oppression’ have been torn down by protesters or ordered removed by community officials following the death of George Floyd, a black man, at the hands of Minneapolis police in May. Several Christopher Columbus statues have been dragged down, from Richmond, Va. to St. Paul, Minn. to the explorer’s capitol city namesake, Columbus, Ohio. 

In Columbus, Wis., proposals for the statue’s “re-use” are due to the city planning office by 4 p.m. Friday. 

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