Junípero Serra’s statues are being defaced. Government institutions are seeking to remove his name from public monuments. All in the name of justice. Is there a better way forward?
You may have heard recently a statue of Junípero Serra that stands in front of the old Mission Santa Barbara was decapitated and covered with red paint.
News reports have been quick to point out that Serra is a controversial figure. They remind us that in California there is a debate about what to do with monuments dedicated to him and the chain of Catholic missions he founded. Some others connect the vandalism to the removal and defacing of statues linked to slavery in other parts of the country, especially after the violent events of Charlottesville, Virginia.