Will a statue in Bronson Park be the next statue to fall?

Mlive is reporting about the Kalamazoo city commission voting unanimously to approve a resolution to recognize Indigenous Peoples Day on the second Monday of October each year, even though they do not even recognize Columbus Day.

During that meeting they also discussed what they should do about the “racist” interpretations of the Fountain of the Pioneers in Bronson Park.  The Commissioners did not vote on a motion regarding the statue by the Mayor said the commission “will need to figure out what it wants to do”.

Apparently there are residents of Kalamazoo, native descendants and others who believe that the Fountain of the Pioneers represents white supremacy.

Some believe that the Native American in headdress standing face-to-face with a settler holding a weapon is a monument which celebrates the forced removal of the indigenous Pottawatomi tribe, of Kalamazoo.

Apparently someone or some group of people covered the statue with a tarp before the City Commission meeting. The city of Kalamazoo government is saying that it was not done by any city staff member.

The monument was designed by a Midwestern modernist artist, sculptor and designer named Alfonso Iannelli. Back in 1940 the designer was quoted in the article stating:

Regarding the meaning of the Fountain of the pioneers, the scheme of the fountain conveys the advance of the pioneers and the generations that follow, showing the movement westward, culminating in the tower symbol of the pioneer ... while the Indian is shown in posture of noble resistance, yet being absorbed as the white man advances.

In the article City Commissioner Matt Milcarek was quoted as saying:

We're asking folks to deal with the fact that this fountain makes their children cry, so people brought about through American society can have something that brings up a (topic) of discussion

The fountain makes children cry, really?

Could this possibly be an exaggeration and if so does Mr. Milcarek not believe that this exaggeration will not help his cause but actually harm it?

What children did it make cry and why?

If there really were children who cried were they told by their parents or some other “adult” their interpretation of the statue and that is what made the children cry?

Why would a child cry if told that the statue represents the white man’s conquest of land over the people who originally either took the land from others who were there first or just inhabited the land?

What children would actually see a statue that is not depicting some horrific scene make them actually cry?  It would have to be some story that a parent or “adult” tells them that would actually make them cry and what does that say about the parent or “adult”.

So many unanswered questions, exaggerations and assumptions abound over this perceived controversy.

Should the statue in Bronson park fall?

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