Public statues and streets named for brutal and unprincipled leaders like Junípero Serra carry shame for all of us and should be removed.
By Merryl Kravitz, San Jose
Merryl Kravitz is a professor emerita at New Mexico Highlands University.
Re “The sadness felt about removing Junipero Serra’s statue from Capitol Park”; Commentary, Feb. 26, 2021
I read John Fairbanks’ commentary about the Junípero Serra statue with dismay. Even as early as 2013, when I moved to the Bay Area, I was surprised to see a street named for a priest who allowed innocent people to be brutalized and to die of disease under his watch.
Two years later, I asked myself how the Catholic Church could beatify him? I come from New Mexico where we remember the atrocities committed against native people in the name of religion and salvation. It was in New Mexico that the foot of Juan de Oñate’s statue was cut off to protest Oñate’s similarly brutal treatment of the Acoma Tribe.
Public statues and streets named for brutal and unprincipled leaders carry shame for all of us and should be removed.