The debate over whether to take down the Pioneer Monument in San Francisco’s Civic Center emerged again amid national efforts to remove Confederate statues in the South.
The monument has drawn criticism in the past for its depiction of a Spanish vaquero, fist in the air, standing over a nearly naked Native American. A missionary also bends over the man with a finger pointed toward the sky.
With recent efforts to take down Confederate statues in cities such as Charlottesville and Baltimore, critics of the Pioneer Monument formed a group on Facebook calling for its removal.
An event on Facebook also asks supporters to speak out against the monument. Its description begins:
“Who is done with these white supremacist colonization states?
Who is tired of seeing Natives depicted as savage, less than, not here anymore or unworthy of being human?
Who wants to get rid of this white supremist [sic] statue right here in SF?”
There’s also an online petition titled, “It’s Time to Take Down San Francisco’s Monument to White Supremacy!”
The push to remove the monument has gained support from San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee, who says he thinks it’s time the statue came down.