‘This is Our World’: A petition calls for the renaming of Arcata streets, removal of historic plaque

A petition with more than 1,000 signatures calls for the renaming of Arcata's LK Wood Boulevard. Google Street View

A petition with more than 1,000 signatures calls for the renaming of Arcata’s LK Wood Boulevard. [Google Street View]

By James Wilde/Community Voices Coalition

Watching Black Lives Matter protests sweep across the country, toppling Confederate statues in some cities and spurring America to reconsider its past, Sean Armstrong saw an opportunity to confront legacies of historic racism in his own town.

It’s a right moment,” Armstrong said. “There have been right moments previously but now is a good right moment.”

Armstrong, an Arcata resident and the managing principal for Redwood Energy, created an online petition calling for the renaming of multiple Arcata streets and the removal of a plaque at Camp Curtis.

A historic plaque marks the location of Camp Curtis, briefly home to the 1st Battalion California Volunteer Mountaineers, which committed acts of genocide. Wikimedia Commons

A historic plaque marks the location of Camp Curtis, briefly home to the 1st Battalion California Volunteer Mountaineers, which committed acts of genocide. [Wikimedia Commons]

With more than 1,000 signatures, the petition asserts the people commemorated by the landmarks — Lewis Keysor Wood, a farmer with the last name of Janes and the Civil War battalion that was stationed at Camp Curtis — supported the genocide of Native people. On its face, the petition poses a question: What will Arcata do with street names, a plaque and an historic house that commemorate people who promoted genocide? But below its surface, some see it as the beginning of a long conversation about how a town, a community, a county and a country can address long histories of racialized violence.That Humboldt County’s history is steeped in such racist violence is no secret. The 1860 massacre of as many as 250 women, children and elder Wiyot people at Tuluwat Island by a local militia is the most widely known example, but that was part of a long series of massacres and murders, as well as a system of human trafficking, that were part of the attempted genocide of Native people between 1846 and 1873. There are other examples, too, like the 1885 expulsion of hundreds of Chinese from Eureka. Armstrong’s petition consists of three basic assertions: that Janes Road and Janes Creek were named after a farmer who hosted and supported a genocidal militia in Arcata; that LK Wood Boulevard honors a man who managed slaves in Kentucky before coming to Arcata, where he vocally supported a campaign of genocide against Native people; and that Curtis Avenue and a plaque honoring the 1st Battalion California Volunteer Mountaineers should be replaced with a street name and plaque “that grieves for the genocide.” For this story, we consulted local historian Jerry Rohde and local history enthusiast Lynette Mullen. Though they did not vet or take a position on the petition itself, both indicated aspects of its assertions seem to hold true, though others don’t appear fully supported by the historic record, which is a bit thin in places.

For much of the petition, Armstrong cited the 1979 book, Genocide in Northwest California: When Our Worlds Cried, by Hupa scholar and former Humboldt State University professor Jack Norton. Armstrong also used articles by Rohde and a series of letters presumed to be written by Wood. 

To start, the petition states that Arcata passed a property tax in 1858 to fund a genocidal militia that camped on Janes Farm and Camp Curtis.

 

Armstrong cited a webpage indicating the militia housed at Camp Curtis originally had camped on Janes Farm but the page cites no sources, and Armstrong said he needed to do more research on the Janes family — making it the least verifiable assertion in the petition.

Norton’s book — which is out of print, though the Journal reviewed a number of pages provided by Armstrong — notes the property tax. But the book doesn’t appear to specify when the militia formed or what it was called. Rohde, a public-school-teacher-turned-historian, said that after checking his records he could not find a militia formed in Humboldt County in 1858 and funded by local taxes. A group called the “Arcata Guard” was established in 1862, he said, and another located in Arcata dubbed the “Humboldt Guard” was formed in 1874. In the county’s eastern stretches, a group called the “Trinity Rangers” was formed in 1858, he said, but appears to have been funded by the state. The “Humboldt Volunteers,” formed in 1860, were known to murder Native people, Rohde said, adding that the group was never funded by a property tax.

The petition then argues that LK Wood Boulevard commemorates a man who supported genocide. 

In 2008, Rohde wrote “The Sonoma Gang” for the Journal, which touched on Wood’s association with the Union Company, which had several members known for murdering Native people. At one point, Wood wrote in apparent frustration against those members of the company and later, as Humboldt County clerk, Wood proposed renaming the town of Union not to Arcata, but to Ki-we-lat-tah, the name of a Native man he seemed to respect.

But Armstrong, who once rented Wood’s house (which still stands in Arcata) shared a series of letters from HSU’s library identified by Mullen that are believed to be written by Wood. The letters clearly supported killing Native people.

I hope every red skin may be killed,” Wood is believed to have written in one.

The petition then claims Curtis Avenue and the plaque at Camp Curtis honor the 1st Battalion California Volunteer Mountaineers, which committed acts of genocide. Multiple sources and accounts verify this point.

The last part of the petition states that Arcata’s Phillips House Museum commemorates a man who enslaved two Native children. Armstrong cited a list from Norton’s book of local people who held Native people as slaves, which included William Phillips. Armstrong voiced particular frustration about this house, the website of which includes a 1993 local television news video that only mentions “a legend” of Natives who “retaliated” by firing a musket at the building.

Throughout Humboldt County, there are numerous other places named after people who committed atrocities on Native people — Henry Larabee, Seth Kinman and James Henry Brown, to name a few — that are not addressed by the petition. Armstrong said he knows of these but, as a resident of Arcata, wanted to focus on things within city limits first.

Armstrong said it was his Native heritage, in part, that pushed him to create the petition, saying he couldn’t accept that anyone of Native descent might have to walk through a town with the names of people who contributed to their attempted genocide posted on street signs or commemorated on a plaque.

A historic photo shows Camp Curtis, which sat in the hills of Arcata from 1862 to 1865 and housed the 1st Battalion California Volunteer Mountaineers, which committed acts of genocide. [Image from Wikimedia Commons]

A historic photo shows Camp Curtis, which sat in the hills of Arcata from 1862 to 1865 and housed the 1st Battalion California Volunteer Mountaineers, which committed acts of genocide. [Image from Wikimedia Commons]

Despite the petition’s more than 1,000 signatures, some question its approach.Kerri Malloy, a Yurok and Karuk Native American studies lecturer at Humboldt State University, didn’t oppose the petition. But he did challenge it.I’ll say the same thing as when the McKinley statue was taken down: Did it really change attitudes and minds? I don’t think it did,” Malloy said. “I mean, it’s gone. That’s fine. But what’s the follow-up action to that? Where’s the community dialogue?”Armstrong agreed that the community should do more than change street names — but said it is a start, adding that he also plans to donate some of the land he owns to a local Native family and supports broader reparations.Arcata Mayor Michael Winkler said he would rather the focus be on a reconciliation program like those implemented in South Africa post-apartheid or in Germany after World War II.

I feel that with rare exceptions such as removing Confederate flags and statues of Confederate leaders and generals, that renamings are the start of an unendable process,” Winkler wrote in an email. “At most, I would support interpretive signs that, for instance, describe local historical figures such as [George Zehndner, a local rancher who commissioned the McKinley statue and participated in the enslaving of Native people] and LK Wood, who they were, what they did and the historical context in which they existed.”

Winkler said he fears the renaming conversation is a slippery slope and “if you take things to the ultimate extreme,” the “entire existence of the United States could be considered illegitimate.” But Armstrong and other activists might hope for that exact slope, or at least one that leads to the recognition of past wrongs and a return of Native land.

Cutcha Risling Baldy, a Journal contributor who chairs HSU’s Native American studies department and also taught a course this reporter took, said what Winkler considers a slippery slope may just be progress.

She pointed to the McKinley statue, noting its removal hasn’t drastically affected the community, and even further back to when Arcata changed its name from Union. To her, changing local names is neither pointless nor overpowering — it’s about bringing Native considerations to the table in a community and country that have historically only presented a “Disneyland version” of history. 

I always say to people if they’re like, ‘It’s just a statue. It’s just a street name.’ I go, ‘No, it must mean something because when we tell you to change it, you get real defensive,’” Risling Baldy said. “So you know there’s something powerful about the street names, about these statues, about these monuments, or you would just be able to go, ‘It’s just a statue.’”

As far as the plaques Winkler suggested, Risling Baldy said while learning history is important, she feels plaques focusing on white people who killed Natives would give the wrong spotlight.

I don’t know if what I want people to do is remember us as people who were enslaved people, who were killed people, who were maimed and murdered,” she said. Instead, she suggested, why not name the streets after the original place names?

With enough public pressure, the Arcata City Council could change the names or remove the plaque. Or it could put forward a ballot measure to let voters decide, as the council did with the McKinley statue. Or, if public interest wanes, the petition could disappear into the depths of the www.change.org servers — which seems possible, as the petition has grown stagnant this month.

No matter what comes of the petition, Risling Baldy, Armstrong and others said they will continue to push these issues forward.

This is our world,” Risling Baldy said. “And we’re going to do whatever thing we have to do to move in that direction. And it might take a while. But we are signing up for that because this is our world.”

James Wilde (he/him) is a freelance journalist living in Arcata.

Editor’s note: This story has been updated to correct an inaccurate paraphrasing of local historian Jerry Rohde’s comments and to make clear that neither Rohde nor local history enthusiast Lynette Mullen conducted a thorough vetting of or took a position on the petition. The North Coast Journal regrets the error and any confusion caused by the prior version of this story.

community voices coalition

The Community Voices Coalition is a project funded by Humboldt Area Foundation and Wild Rivers Community Foundation to support local journalism. This story was produced by the North Coast Journal newsroom with full editorial independence and control.

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121 comments

  • 🕯🌳Aren’t we pass this yet?

  • Im just saying all lives matter especially those who built this country and continue to built this usa not tear it down.no matter race or color. If your tearing down the usa your not welcome in this country

  • In my 1911 I trust

    I see they mention LK Wood as well as Janes, but no mention of Spear. The last name Spear is a big one in Humboldt County. It is inextricably intertwined with the Larabee Brothers homestead as well as Queen Vic. The Spears didn’t commit acts of genocide(that I know of) but participated in many other unsavory aspects, and the street Spear intersects with Janes and LK Wood, so it seems unfair that those are brought up but not Spear.

    Is it because Spear is the last name of a well known black family that was here through the 18 and 1900s? Victoria’s husband was the old owner of the Larabee Brothers’ homestead, he was an older man who married a younger woman. She had an insatiable appetite for the finer things in life. Through the later 1900s he tried to provide her those things, but soon fell ill and was running out of money. In order to continue to provide her with what she wanted, they started to split up the tens of thousand of acres that was the Larabee Brothers’ homstead. Victoria became the head of the household during the illness of her husband, and, in doing so, became one of the largest land owners in the county. Once he died, and they had sold off large swaths of the old homestead, and leased other large parts of the land out to logging companies, Victoria decided to open up a brothel, and in doing so, as well as being a large land baroness, she became known as Queen Victoria. Queen Victoria ran the brothel for many years for all the loggers and workers in the area. She imported young ladies from the Bay Area using a young black pimp with the last name of Spear. Spear and Queen Victoria worked for many years trafficking young women from the local area as well as from the Bay for a good many years. The logging eventually petered out and laws changed, making it hard to continue to traffic young women for the brothel. She was a nasty old lady, full of infidelity and lust, and even in her old age would try to seduce young 18 year old boys to come back to her old palace in the Larabee. She eventually sold the remaining thousand acres about 15 years ago, and we had the luck to have the property for a number of years. We had to clean out the poo shack, a cabin on the property that was chock full of mason jars with human feces in them. That land hums with a certain energy, perhaps because of all the native blood it was bathed in during the massacres the Larabee Brothers partook in, either way, at night you could almost hear voices in the trees calling out to you about times and tragedies past. The old brothel is still intact, and in the main room still has a giant fireplace with an ornate, carved copper mantle. The upstairs is still sectioned off into all the little tiny rooms that were used by the whores and there clients.

    Anyway, should LK Wood, and Janes be changed, but not Spear? Spear is a well-known name due to the trafficking of young women, should we really split hairs between pimps and racists? Its all bad, if you are going to change one, we need to change both. I hope that little anecdote goes to show that the further you dig into any name of the past, you will probably find some very unsavory aspects of that character, nobodies hands are clean. If you apply this knowledge equally, all street names and plaques probably need to be taken down and changed, but whose hands are clean enough for us to actually replace these names and plaques with? And those people that we decided to replace those names and plaques with, do they really think that if they lived in that time and age that they would act in a completely different manner and be able to achieve the success of those individuals before them without acting in the same manners that were very consistent with the times? If not then they are no better. If we apply this knowledge unequally (because this is all about equality), such as condemning racists yet giving a pass to pimps and human traffickers, maybe its best if we don’t meddle and just leave well enough alone.

  • Arcatas motto is “I’m offended, but I’m not sure why”

    • The person who wrote this seems to have a very clear understand of why they are offended. I think maybe you are offended and don’t know why….

      • People wish things like this would just disappear, therefore they minimize it in every way possible.
        Either they condone past and present genocidel acts or they like to live in denial.

        • Without all those plaques I would not know of the horrible genocide that went on here. When reading them, I did not cheer, I was disgusted. I became connected to the native american tribes of the area and wanted to learn more, and did. Can I still tell you what any piece of regalia goes to which dance or ceremony, no, but I still carry the ethnobotanical and practical knowledge I learned and use it daily. My personal favorite is the history mural at the food court at the Bayshore Mall where you can sit down and enjoy a full serving of guilt. The irony of reading about the Weott village that lived in harmony with nature right in the same spot my fat ass that can barely make it through life without a car and drive through was sitting slopping down mass produced empty calories and refined sugars can’t be outmatched.

          My body shows scars for all the world to see, for me they are a reminder not to do certain things again

  • ‘No, it must mean something because when we tell you to change it, you get real defensive,’” Risling Baldy said. Yes. Just that. Telling people to change would likely irritate most people. “It is our world” is just the sort of wording that would make it clear what is the goal. We are still scrapping over just who owns what.

  • Christopher Boyle

    I feel it is not about “tearing down,” but adding to the the story so future generations can see the evolution. It is also clear that “not welcome in this country” is a sad echo that just adds to divisiveness instead of moving towards common understanding. Its not our fault these tragedies happened. It is nearly impossible to pass judgement without the context of being there. We have come to a time to just acknowledge this past, share the whole story. Whether we rename the streets or not is just a small part of it, though I agree. What I really hope is that others don’t feel attacked for it, or that their history or legacy is being erased. It is only being absorbed by this new world and you are still a welcome part of it.

  • Those who fail to study history are doomed to repeat it . . . IDIOTS!

    • Who are you calling an idiot here? This person seems to have done a lot of studying. Maybe you’re talking about the negative Commenters?

      • There were plenty of atrocities committed by the First Nations people. This wasn’t a one sided battle. There’s a book entitled “1845 – 1870 An Untold Story of Northern California” by Daniel Smith. I bought a copy on Amazon recently. It is full of horrifying deeds done by local tribes. Like I said . . . study history or repeat it. Cancel Culture is not the answer. JMO.

        • I agree. Cancel culture is not appropriate.

          That being said, the article was clearly written and the author clearly justified why they wanted the changes.

          However; we cannot and should not erase history! Our children and our children’s children need to know the history of how things went…good or bad.

          Also, a lot of history people are up in arms about was two sided. Before anyone gets their panties in a bunch and attacks me…..I said A LOT…not all. I’m not justifying anything but if we continue to be offeneded when someone so much as sneezes wrong and demands an apology, this world for certain is doomed.

          I’m not trying to liken the horrors people faced to a sneeze at all…I have lived in the area for 36 years and I have extensively studied our history and some of it is absolutely disgusting. But without the plaques, statues, murals etc..I wouldnt have know about all of it. My child would not have been taught about the deep seeded roots of our community and the history it was built on.

          What are we teaching our youth? We already as a society taught our youth the “Everyone is a winner” mentality. Look where that has gotten us.

          The hate and riots (not peaceful protests) going on right now are disgusting! Are we only to speak of those because it is the BLM group heading them? Are we only allowed to keep the history that “certain” people want us to?

          ALL LIVES MATTER, EVERY SINGLE LIFE! RED,BLACK, YELLOW, BLUE ,WHITE AND PURPLE!!

  • Suppose we leave the plaques and statues, and put up new ones celebrating those who have come since to stop the bad things that were done before. Display the contrast between those who hurt, and those who changed things for the better. When Russia went communist in 1917, her grain production dramatically was lowered, causing them to have to import. Through the rosary, communism, and all the atrocities tied to it, killing of Jews, Christians, and Gays, as well as genocide of many indigenous peoples, ended. They renamed Leningrad back to St. Petersburg, and many other cities from evil communist leaders to good christian ones. Dr. King was a christian, called for the embrace of christian values and love of fellow persons. Do the research of the local heroes who stepped up to end the horrible actions of those who were so consumed with hate and bigotry. This way, our youth can see the stark contrast between good and evil, cowardice and bravery. Name the leaders of the tribes who were destroyed, talk to the elders about the loss of their cultures and it’s ways. Like the Klamath river dams’ negative impact on their ability to teach their youth the benefits and wonders of providing food for others. Leave the old displays, put up new ones next to them, provide people with a learnable moment, a teaching moment.

    • Stuber, Never forget the past. I like your idea.

    • Stuber – This is what was done in Round Valley, at Inspiration Point as you are just about to drop down to the valley floor. The old historic plaque that tells about the “discovery” of the valley (by the Asbill brothers, white men), which dates from many years past, is still there along with a new plaque that tells the story of the Valley’s history from a more modern, multicultural perspective. The contrast between the two plaques is in itself a valuable lesson.

  • Change the name to the Serene Principality of Monaco. It’ll do wonders for property values.

  • Just rename everything “Happy Happy Utopia Place” and all the world’s problems will go away.

  • The real question is do white people have a right to memorialize there own cultures history?
    Are we allowed to have statues or monuments to commemorate our own history?
    Sure the history is not one that some natives like, however it is what happened and it is how this community was created. I see any attempt to rename thing as an attempt to erase the Anglo history of this area.
    Maybe there is legitimate reasons why white culture wants to be protected. You may call the killing of Indians a horrible thing, however many whites died too. The natives were not perfect people and there society at the time was not 100% compatible with the new Anglo culture that took over this region.

  • 🕯🌳In 20yrs what they’ve change it to will offend someone and the cycle will start all over again.

    • Black Rifles Matter

      You are 100% correct Willie. The question is, will they burn and tear everything down just to get what they want.

  • Why rename the streets when they just promote traffic violence and climate chaos? Tear them out and plant sustainable grass to feed the people! Everyone can wake up in peace, go out to th edge of the sidewalk, not too far, and graze in peace without all those violent wheeled things, get a “light” milking from the government and then go back to lockdown social distancing bliss! No offending at all! What could go wrong?

  • Hey look! More atrocities of the past committed by Democrats. Not a surprise. If you’re a Democrat you _should_ be ashamed of your past and all the crimes against humanity your party has committed. I’d want to hide that too.

    But it should remain, so we can look in disgust at what Democrats have done, and point at them, and shame them. And never forget how awful humans can be.

  • This reminds me of the Wikipedia section on the Whitman massacre. Part of it goes as follows – “Whitman Massacre
    (The belief that Marcus Whitman was deliberately poisoning American Indians infected with measles was the justification for the murders.)
    The killings are usually ascribed in part to a clash of cultures and in part to the inability of Whitman, a physician, to halt the spread of measles among the Indians. The Cayuse held Whitman responsible for subsequent deaths. The incident remains controversial to this day; the Whitmans are regarded by some as pioneer heroes, while others see them as white settlers who had attempted to impose their religion on the Indians and otherwise intrude, even allegedly poisoning them.”

    So basically it was a story of cultural bias, being offended and solutions enforced by violence. Just like this article and subsequent comments by all. Everyone is on a side and all the wrong is assigned to the other side. It is almost impossible to admit or even figure out what the reality was at the time but that doesn’t stop people from being offended by proxy more than a hundred years later.

    It is a fact of nature that two egos can not occupy the same space and conflict over space is unavoidable. All human’s are a part of a restless species full of inherent aggression. They will see opportunity either to “do good” to or to “take” from others with equal violence and not one of them is without fault in their solutions.

    How can anyone believe that objecting to people taking resources by physical migration is wrong AND simultaneously believe that migrants have right to it? How can anyone believe that their ancestors taking a share of resources was good AND simultaneously believe that others don’t have a right to try the same? They both simply define their ideas as “truth” and refuse to include differing ideas in that definition.

  • Politics aside….
    If they rename any streets they might consider changing ‘Eye’ street. (They already have an ‘I Street’). There are a few of those, if memory serves me well. I always figured the Council was stoned the night they thought up or approved that.
    And Jim Wilde. Is the “(he/him)” being playful or serious? As a kind of serious guy with a dry sense of humor, as I have observed of you from a distance, I considered it in jest. With all due respect for gender identity for all people, you got a smile from me. 🙂

  • Sean going to be paying for all this? No? Didn’t think so.

    • I didn’t even know that Sean was Native. He never mentioned it in all the years we knew each other. Perhaps because I am Native and he was afraid that I would question him. Perhaps he is from the Wannabee tribe.

  • Did Germany get rid of their death camps? No, they are a place to be educated, learn about what happened and mourn. You can’t get rid of your history just because you don’t like it. There’s parts of America’s history that’s not great, it’s the same with every country, but you can’t just go around destroying and defacing historical things because you want to be woke. This petition is stupid and the majority of people only signed it because they wanted to be woke and cool

    • but the Germans also didn’t memorialize the nazis in a positive light with no context like these plaques. Do you think Germany has Adolf Hitler Blvds in every city?….. No they don’t.

      • I think I’m going to join the woke movement, you have persuaded me. Arcata needs to change its name as it as been linked to the only modern day killing in humboldt that had a racial aspect to it, or at least that I’m aware of. So Arcata needs to change its name and remove all evidence of that name. I bet I could easily get a couple hundred people to sign that petition.

    • Context is important.

  • Can we take a minute to acknowledge all the GOOD that has come from Western Society, like enlightenment for one, how about the fact that the people of North and South America no longer feel the need to kill all of the left handed people because it didn’t rain as much this year, how about the fact that cannibalism is no longer practiced in North America. How about a moment to reflect on the wonders of modern medicine, the doubling of life expectancy, the MEGALITHIC improvements in women’s rights, women’s safety, health etc. You cant judge people in the past based on the morality of today, thats pure idiocy, especially considering the fact that overall the founding of and continuance of this country has marked the single greatest improvement in quality of life IN THE HISTORY OF HUMAN KIND for absolutely EVERYONE in America and the myriad of nations who rely on use for support of all kinds. The US is not some evil entity founded on oppression and racism, its quite the opposite, we are a beacon of opportunity, liberty and freedom for ALL.

    • Absolutely, and more of the same!

      We shouldn’t judge today’s America by the atrocities of the first whites to settle here. We’ve improved a lot, corrected countless wrongs and have made reparations all over the country. Can we ever repay the Native Americans?

      No, we can’t, time waits for no man.

      The California Tribes were decimated by gold seekers just the same as the Mayans by the Spanish. Greed and a manifest destiny is in my heart the worst page of my family’s history. If only we could take back time.

      Change the names, who remembers those important people?

    • I’ve often been left shaking my head at the unawareness of those making the demand for Euro-Americans to acknowledge being on “native land,” all the while enjoying the fruits of western technology and the civil culture that emerged from the Enlightenment. Either do without your iPhone, modern medical care, transportation, and utilities or STFU.

      • Like I always have said, the hills and trees round here didn’t give birth to native people, they moved from somewhere else. They were just lucky they didn’t have to pay taxes, or deal with property taxes, or real estate agents making a commission, …the Europeans sure know how to make everything a commodity.

        I heard the natives had to deal with the red headed giant man eaters.

        Shit always rolls down hill.

  • Ill never understand the outrage people have towards the kindest, most flexible, benevolent system of government in the history of the world, OURS. Women today have all of the rights that men do, with none of the responsibilities or accountability. Racial discrimination is not on illegal, with affirmative action, hiring and promoting minorities is incentivized, blacks and Latinos can get into colleges with far less talent, and much lower test scores than their white and asian counterparts. It seems as though nothing really matters, they always want more, it makes you wonder whats the real goal here?

    • Ah, reverse racism at it’s finest. Poor, poor oppressed white guys! And those dern women, with all the rights and none of the responsibilities or accountability! Man, I bet you wish you were a black or brown woman, maybe gay or trans, then you could get a fair shake! You wouldn’t last 5 minutes…
      As to how enlightened we are in the present day and age, let’s see..highest prison population on earth, skyrocketing poverty rates, the murder of tens of thousands of civilians in Iraq, based on lies…fingers getting tired of typing…can’t go on much longer….

      • Covid fatigue. …

      • There is no such thing as “reverse racism,” there is only racism and any group can practice it against any other group. And the same societies that embraced Enlightenment ideas were the first to challenge racism.

  • We’re the only country in the world to erect memorials to the treasonous. Why?

    • America’s memorials aren’t based upon moral values, The Little Bighorn massacre battlefield is my best example. The morally best won but Custer got the statue.

      We’re not erecting very many monuments today because we get the point, 2020.

      Our race (white) saw the continent as a place to be conquered. The original people were helpless. Things have changed, a lot! History is good to study.

      • One thing to remember is the original inhabitants were decimated by waves of disease that came ahead of the Europeans, weakening the inhabitants ability to fight back.
        “Diseases such as smallpox, measles, and typhus annihilated most of the American native populations. Devastating epidemics resulted throughout the New World.” https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/1483570/

  • All history is the opinion of the person that wrote it.

    Two people on opposite sides of the street can watch a car accident and have opposing opinions of what they saw.

    Would you change your child’s name every time they did something you didn’t approve of?

    Add to history, place an additional plaque. Agree to name new streets in honor of others.

    Why cause businesses, GPS, maps, websites, and so much more to go to the expense of changing their info.

    If I am an out of County customer of a business and you change the name of the town will I be able to find them again to purchase from them?

    The whole idea creates so many complications!

    • //All history is the opinion of the person that wrote it.// True, but with exceptions.

      History revisionists are prevalent. The winners wrote the first versions, not necessarily the truth.

      The oldest civilizations wrote their history into the carved stone so that nobody could revise it, they could only destroy it. ISIS destroyed much of Mesopotamia’s story of man. Who knows why. People just do that sometimes.

  • The city of arcata has been anti american for decades now. No wonder, it’s got a college full of people from down south or somewhere else metro.

  • No matter the color humans are warring people. Always have been always will be. There will never be peace with the human race. The natives fought each other and we fought the natives. We fought each other in Europe. We are fighting now with each other here and overseas.

    Instead of taking McKinley down I would have liked to see a native statue added. And instead of taking down the signs add new signs with native names.

    • There were two American Presidents under whom slavery was ended. Abraham Lincoln was the first and William Mckinley (a Union veteran) was the second, in the Philippines.

  • Do you believe we are better off without the Alexandria Library? How many things were in there that we no longer know about??

    • For sure. I’m in envy of Cleopatra who self educated herself as a child inside the great library started by Alexander.

      • Rod Gass – Nice comment. I’m in envy of her, too. A small correction: the city was founded by Alexander. The famous Library, also called the Museum, was created by his half-brother and successor, Ptolemy I Soter.
        History nerds unite!

        • Glad to meet you, and thanks for the correction.

          • Please Check One

            The same to you, and you’re welcome. I often wonder what the world lost with that place. Incredible knowledge and wondrous history, no doubt. We have been left with the merest remnants. When will we ever learn?

  • You can’t change the past. This is getting completely ridiculous . Have you nothing better to do? I’ll bet half of those signers aren’t even original Humboldt people. Get over yourselves and find a new cause, like there is so much seagull poop that needs to be cleaned around our Oceanside Beaches!

  • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bEMgIlCkHz0

    WATCH: Myron Lizer’s full speech at the Republican National …

    18 hours ago … Myron Lizer, vice president of the Navajo Nation, spoke on the second night of the Republican National Convention on Aug. 25, 2020.

  • Defund Universities

    There’s no sense in debating this issue. Students vote locally and anyone can sell students on pretty much any “reform”. They are generally of an age where they are cutting themselves off from their dependency on parents while having yet to be held responsible even for their keep. The lack of perspective makes them a sure mark for any impassioned speaker without knowing enough to question what they hear. Frankly if McKinley- civil war Union veteran and Federalist and earnest peace negotiator and assassinated President- wasn’t given the benefit of understanding of his times, then local history will certainly not be safe from rhetorical assassination.

    • I stood on a hill and I saw the Old approaching, but it came as the New.
      It hobbled up on new crutches which no one had ever seen before and stank of new smells of decay which no one had ever smelt before.
      The stone that rolled past was the newest invention and the screams of the gorillas drumming on their chests set up to be the newest musical composition.
      Everywhere you could see open graves standing empty as the New advanced on the capital.
      Round about stood such as inspired terror, shouting: Here comes the New, it’s all new, salute the new, be new like us! And those who heard, heard nothing but their shouts, but those who saw, saw such as were not shouting.
      So the Old strode in disguised as the New, but it brought the New with it in its triumphal procession and presented it as the Old.
      The New went fettered and in rags; they revealed its splendid limbs. And the procession moved through the night, but what they thought was the light of dawn was the light of fires in the sky. And the cry: Here comes the New, it’s new, salute the New, be new like us! would have been easier to hear if all had not been drowned in a thunder of guns.

      Bertolt Brecht From The Darkest Times 1938-1941

      Question :

      Who are the OLD?

  • Moons A. Balloon

    Long before Columbus set foot in the New World, “Native Americans,” with very few exceptions, lived in a constant state of inter-tribal warfare, kept slaves, practiced torture and mutilation, and stole everything from other tribes that wasn’t nailed down. Many engaged in ritual human sacrifice, infanticide, and other unspeakable atrocities. By the sixteenth century, the tribes had yet to invent the wheel or develop a written language. Is it any wonder the Europeans saw them as inferior, vicious, and threatening beings? The myth of the Noble Savage living in a paradise before the white man got here is just that: a myth. If we’re going to rewrite history, lets tell the whole bloody, gory, brutal story from all sides without judging people who lived in a place and time that we can only imagine.

  • Changing the narrative presented in classroom history books would be a remarkable step for the dominant culture to take. Jack Norton has banged his head against textbook publishers who have whitewashed matters dreadfully- here is a link to his If the Truth Be Told: Revising California History as a Moral Objective: https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/0002764213495033.
    The American Behavioral Scientist has some good articles by Trafzer & Lorimer, and Fenelon and Trafzer… Silencing California Indian Genocide in Social Studies Texts, and From Colonialism to Denial of California Genocide to Misrepresentations: Special Issue on Indigenous Struggles.

    • David,

      It’s taken a long time, but we can see what money and long term vision, ( not paycheck to paycheck) can do for a group of motivated people to change the course of a free people.

      (**)”Norman Dodd, a Yale graduate, had developed a reputation for integrity, having walked away from a lucrative career with a Morgan bank, after the disclosure that they had been responsible for the institutionalizing of “conflicting interests.” Later, during the Reece Investigation, Mr. Dodd was asked to call upon Mr. Rowan Gaither, the president of the Ford Foundation in New York. During this visit, as told by Dodd, Gaither made an admission that nearly floored the inquisitive investigator. The Ford Foundation president stated, ”…we shall use our grant making power so to alter life in the United States that it can be comfortably merged with the Soviet Union.”*)*

      https://www.progress-index.com/article/20111202/NEWS/312029941

    • Approximately paragraph 22 of this article ” …the entire existence of the United States could be considered illegitimate.” That’s the bottom line (for me.)I’m leaving my property to local Native American descendants , who are part of my family, when I die. I also totally share it with them now. I hope others will too, if no hardships would be created by doing so.

  • This was an excellent write up.

    It includes multiple perspectives and opinions.

    Thanks James!

  • Making a better future for everyone is more important than rewriting history.

    It’s not like there’s nothing to work on.

  • The retreat of the ice bodes ill for global climate...

    If there’s no ICE CAPS cooling our planet and moderating our weather and ocean tides , then the name of your street and its tainted history doesn’t mean shit.

    People are annoyed about the pettiest garbage while our environment COLLAPSES!! It pisses me off.

    https://www.sciencemag.org/news/2020/08/growing-underwater-heat-blob-speeds-demise-arctic-sea-ice#

    • If the globalists succeed, you and your descendants will be sterilized, so you can rest assured the environment will absolutely win , no matter what we do.

  • Nature Bats Last!

  • I get there are those that cannot tolerate past history; however, its just that; History !!!! So basically some want all that went on historically ugly as it is wiped out because they do not have the capacity to deal !!! You can change names of streets, remove statues, etc., but it won’t change history !!! Get real and stop giving in to all this, its beyond ridiculout.

  • I have a statue of Mr. Armstrong; he’s standing next to his unmade bed.

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