BUFFALO, NY - A Buffalo anti-racism group is requesting that common council members vote to remove the Christopher Columbus statue on the west side and rename the park.
The group says that Columbus had a negative impact on the world.
The debate over removing statues of Columbus is something many cities are considering, after violence erupted in Charlottesville two months ago, when white supremacists protested the removal of a Robert E. Lee statue.
The Buffalo Anti-Racism Coalition says many of the school textbooks are wrong and that Columbus did not discover America. And, that there were millions of people already living here.
A founding member of the group, Brandon Absher told lawmakers that when Columbus did travel west that he was a brutal leader, torturing Native Americans. And, because of that, Absher says that Columbus should not be honored. He has created a petition calling on council members to act.
"Christopher Columbus is well-known to have committed atrocities, they are well-documented. All we are saying is that we should not have parks or statues dedicated to people who have committed those types of atrocities," he said.
In the meantime, there is a counter petition online calling on the city to keep the statue where it is and not rename the park, saying Columbus while he did have flaws, is part of our history and made significant discoveries.
2 On Your Side talked to council member David Rivera. The statue and park are in the Niagara District, which he represents.
He says he won't write a resolution renaming the park or removing the statue.
"Have no plans based on the information I received today. There are interpretations on both sides of the issue and certainly we have history and their interpretation of history. It's a sensitive issue," Rivera said.