I live in Arcata; I've attended all the recent city council and study session meetings about removal of the President McKinley statue, and read all the recent local newspaper reports about this, too ("The McKinley Divide," March 15).
I have a few questions and a few statements for city council members Susan Ornelas, Brett Watson and Michael Winkler.
1) Do you realize how back-stabbed hundreds of us feel by your reversal of the public and majority decision by the council to remove the statue by then maneuvering whether it stays or goes onto a ballot, ignoring the throng of people who spoke to you publicly for removal (compared to the tiny opposition) and excluding all the California Native voices that were crying out to you publicly, who can't participate in such a ballot that effects them so deeply and personally? Now so many of us feel disenchanted, distrustful of you and disappointed in your representation.
2) Is it so difficult to comprehend that the McKinley statue represents oppression and patriarchal domination for so many Indigenous, Islander, African American and white people, male and female, and that its reverential public display maintains an ancient, open wound in Humboldt County?
3) Why are you fighting so hard to maintain the public symbol of a conservative big-money-backed Republican president when you all appear to oppose the current racist and sexist policies of President Trump, meanwhile the entire nation is mobilized and removing these out-dated, oppressive statues in favor of unifying, diversity-respecting ones, even in Republican majority states?
4) For the sake of genuine progress, reinstate the decision to remove this statue so we can move forward with the rest of the nation and work to heal the ancient wounds of genocide, ignorance and murder that still haunt this city and state.
Cory Myers, Arcata