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An event is being planned for July 4 at the Iowa State Capitol. Multiple organizations are joining together to remove monuments to white supremacy in Iowa.

“Seeding Sovereignty” posted something to Facebook with an image that also reads, “Hey! Come get your racist uncle!” It includes #NoMonumentsToWhiteSupremacy.

The event is to be held on the West Terrace of the Iowa Capitol Building from 1-3 p.m. on July 4.

According to the Facebook page, they “insist” the following statues and mural be removed from the Capitol as well as the grounds.

“On the West Lawn, there is a 15-foot bronze statue on a large pedestal that stands in front of the Iowa State Capitol Building. According to the Iowa State Government website, the statue depicts “The Pioneer of the former territory, a group consisting of father and son guided by a friendly Indian in search of a home. The pioneer depicted was to be hardy, capable of overcoming the hardships of territorial days to make Iowa his home.” The father and son settler invaders are standing tall and proud, looking west, as the “friendly Indian” sits behind them in a less powerful, dejected position.”

Inside the capitol is a piece that overwhelmingly encompasses this sentiment called the Westward Mural, which covers a massive wall. The artist writes that “The main idea of the picture is symbolical presentation of the Pioneers led by the spirits of Civilization and Enlightenment to the conquest by cultivation of the Great West.” He also speaks about overcoming the wilderness with plowed fields–as if the current Indigenous inhabitants, such as the Ioway and the Meskwaki, had not already created capable and efficient land management systems.

On the South Lawn, there is a Christopher Columbus Monument that was celebrated in 1938 by five thousand people who showed up for the dedication of the statue on Columbus Day. The statue was put up just a couple years after the Columbus Club of Iowa successfully lobbied to have Walker Park renamed to Columbus Park and have a Columbus monument placed there.

Jacob Hall

Author: Jacob Hall