Some historical artifacts were erected to celebrate great accomplishments, some were to remind all the pain and suffering they caused. If anybody reading this was there with Father Junipero Serra, or has immediate family members who were there, or first person recording of events inflected upon family members; you may well have a right to demand removal of the statue. If anybody reading this was not there with Father Junipero Serra, what right do you have to deprive later generations of the reminders of what happened during his stay in Buenaventura?
This all boils down to a single statement, uttered over 72-years ago:
“Those who fail to learn from history are condemned to repeat it.”~Sir Winston Churchill
If the statue is deemed to be moved by the prevailing political winds, then perhaps the best place to house it is in front of the Mission he helped to create. There it will be a religious artifact and protected by Federal Law.
I would suggest two solutions to the Father Serra controversy
1. If the statue is to stay in Ventura a plaque underneath should acknowledge his contribution to our history but should also note that he was complicate in the abuse of the indigenous Chumash people.
2. If it is removed I suggest sending it to whatever town was his home – in Spain – they will have a special place for it I’m sure.
I enjoy reading a physical paper instead of an on-line paper. Keep up the good work.
Keep Father Serra Standing
As I write this letter the City Council is holding a hearing regarding the statue of Father Junipero Serra that stands in front of Ventura’s City Hall. By the time this letter is in print, he may not be there, but I hope he will be. I am hearing the protestors (several very young and not even of voting age) speak and cry out as if they personally were subjected to what they perceive happened with the building of our great City and it’s Mission by Father Serra.
There are thousands of “reminders/tributes” throughout the world of the suffering of all of our ancestors over the centuries. We have learned from their historically recorded mistakes and most of the time have successfully stopped the suffering and improved quality of life for generations. We have also been gifted by many of these historical figures with an advancement of the human condition.
What is happening all over our great Country right now is setting a dangerous precedent. To tear down our history is to deny our past and destroy the opportunity to overcome oppression and celebrate a future that embraces the lives of all races equally. For more than 31 years Father Serra has stood in front of Ventura’s historical City Hall. Most of the protestors today were not even born then and they have not been taught to respect the history and freedom that thousands of men and women of all races died protecting.
Now is the time to teach, not tear down. Where will it stop if we capitulate to this “movement” overtaking the civility of our Nation and throughout the world? Shall we tear down the Roman Coliseum next? What about the Pyramids? I recently heard a wise man say this: Unless you are ready to surrender everything, you’d better not surrender anything.
Liberty is meaningless where the right to utter one’s thoughts and opinions has ceased to exist. That, of all rights, is the dread of tyrants.
~ Frederick Douglass (1818-1895)