NM Protester Shot While Trying to Take Down Conquistador Statue

In US news and current events today, one person is in critical but stable condition after a man believed to be part of an armed militia opened fire on a group of protesters trying to dismantle a statue of Spanish conquistador Juan de Oñate in New Mexico.

In the wake of the police killings of George Floyd, Rayshard Brown, Breonna Taylor and so many more Black people and people of color, the Black Lives Matter protests and George Floyd protests have opened the eyes of the world to the insidious reach of systemic racism. As the United States reconciles with its racist past, by removing Confederate statues and moving to rename military bases named after treasonous Confederate soliders, some protesters are calling for an even more sweeping statement against the historical horrors of racism. In many cities protesters are removing Christopher Columbus statues, citing his history as a genocidal colonizer, and in New Mexico, statues of Spanish Conquistadors are a testament to the brutal colonization of indigenous people. Sadly, peaceful protests and peaceful protesters have been rocked with violence, usually from armed white supremacist militias in defense of their ugly past, and this case appears no different. The peaceful protester shot trying to take down a colonist statue is evidence of a larger conflict brewing in America, one that will take real change from the top down to eliminate racial violence and ensure justice and equality for all.

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