The amount of information in this project can make it difficult to thoroughly review. The Historic Justice Alliance provides a summary of key points about the issues. This section is under construction and links will be provided soon. Please note that this information, and the associated links, are found throughout this project.
ARCATA, SURROUNDING AREA AND STATUE
The statue is a gift to Arcata by a slave owner. According to the 1860 Union Township census, George Zehndner was in possession of a 7 year old Indigenous girl renamed “Lucy”.
Zehndner paid $15,000 for the project, an equivalent to $415,303 when adjusting for inflation. This immense wealth was obtained by occupation of land backed my the murderous authority of white settlers.
Legalized slavery (“indenture”) was so prevalent in Humboldt County that a judge wrote in a local paper to complain about the associated workload.
Efforts to remove the statue began as early as 1947. A statue of Bret Harte (who documented the Wiyot Massacre) was proposed.
In 1850 California legalized slavery of Indigenous Peoples. This resulted in a slave-trade, with a common practice of white settler murder-squads killing Indigenous parents and selling their children who were sent to auction.
State and Federal partnerships poured tens of millions of dollars (adjusted for inflation) into the genocide of Indigenous Peoples. Murder was further incentivized by offering 160 acre parcels for “service”.
At issue is McKinley’s treatment of Indigenous Peoples. Supporters of Measure M have no response to this point and rely on his civil war record, his early childhood or his “strong support” of voting rights. They fail to mention he actively opposed voting rights for Black citizens in the south during a time it was most needed. The preponderance of online resources tend to describe him as unwilling to alienate Southern whites following the civil war.
Signed the Curtis Act into law, which enhanced the powers of the United States to seize 90 million acres of land from 5 Tribes, as well as dismantle their previously-recognized legal authority.
McKinley made six proclamations (numbers 421, 436 445, 456, 460) that involved treaty violations and seizures of vast tracts of land across the U.S. from various Tribes, including the Coleville Tribe in Washington State which lost over 1 million acres of their homeland because of McKinley.
In one executive order, McKinley established the Hualapai Indian School Reserve in Arizona. These school were notorious for their role in the cultural and physical destruction of Indigenous Peoples
All costs will be covered. Arcata City Manager Karen Diemer is on record stating that one person has offered to pay the entire cost of relocation, even out of state, and that a “handful” of people have offered to pay all relocation costs within the county. This is in addition to the various private citizens working to raise funds. It should be noted that a private citizen gifted the city $298,000 for a Futsal court just this year, which lends credence to the likelihood of the assurances Ms. Diemer was told.
According to the city of Arcata, the McKinley statue removal is projected to cost $65,000, or 0.16% of the city’s 41 million dollar budget this fiscal year. 31 projects have been approved for the 2018-2019 fiscal year which will include $525,000 on road improvements (potholes etc), $167,000 on creek and trail work, $150,000 for new bleachers at the Arcata Ball Park and $25,000 in manholes. The city will also spend $347,000 for merely designing hoped-for improvements to the community, which demonstrates the belief that communities are not stagnant.
Mayor Sofia Pereira wrote:
“As a Council, we took on a difficult issue that has endured for decades in Arcata. Thank you to all the community members who took part in the Council’s decision-making process by voicing their opinions during our December study session, making phone calls, writing letters, signing petitions and engaging the Council at Wednesday’s meeting. I encourage all community members to continue to engage the Council and attend our monthly meetings on issues they feel strongly about. Since Arcata is on Wiyot land, I also want to extend gratitude to the Wiyot Tribe for offering their input on this important community matter.
The decision to remove these monuments was not made lightly, and the Council recognizes that this is still a passionate issue for many in our community. I stand by our vote as I believe that these monuments do not reflect our values as a community nor the values to which we aspire. We cannot deny or change the history behind these monuments, but we can change the prominence they hold in our community.”