Education is a weapon whose effects depend on who holds it in his hands and at whom it is aimed. ~ Joseph Stalin
Cal State students and alumni have formed a committee to tear down Long Beach’s long-standing statue dedicated to Prospector Pete, Press Telegram reports.
In September, the university’s Associated Students Inc. began working on 2018-17 Retirement of Prospector Pete and Dissociation from the Gold Rush Era.
The resolution states that the campus, built in 1949, was erected on a village of the Puvungna tribe, and California’s indigenous people, the Tongva, and having such a statue is considered discriminatory.
So they are going back to a time long gone. They say the prospectors were guilty of “violent and genocidal acts” against them.
This Happened in the 1800s
The Gold Rush Era was from 1848-1865 and if these people knew their history, they would have known that California was a free state and many slaves and other blacks traveled there to create a new life. Some were prospectors.
The statue was created as a work of art and was never intended to insult anyone. The man who posed for it in 1949 wasn’t a prospector.
Pete Was a Kind and Generous Man
Walter “Pete” Peterhauser was born in the Swiss canton of Lucerne on Dec. 23, 1832. He escaped the 1847’s Sonderbund civil war aboard a ship as a deckhand. He lived a kind and loving life, giving quietly to charity. When he died he left his money to the less fortunate. Peter didn’t ask for a statue but people knew he deserved one.
The Tongvas are eager to take back and preserve the land they owned in the 1800s and the college sits on some of it. Pete stands on some of it. That could be some of the motivation in this.
The resolution by the college committee states: “Multiple scholars have cited the California Prospectors, also known as the ‘49ers,’ as culpable in violent and genocidal acts against the Indigenous people of California…the near-extermination of the Tongva Tribe was a result of the Gold Rush Era.”
But Peter was a great guy and it’s a beautiful artistic statue. The violent prospectors are long dead. Why not just change the name? Call it Pete the Kindest of Men or something related to his charitable works?
Not everyone is asking for the statue to be removed.
“It is still student art and that student didn’t create that statue with the intention of it being called ‘Prospector Pete,’” one student said. “So I have suggested that we move it to the student art gallery instead or somewhere else on campus, but I wouldn’t get rid of it entirely.”
However, the university’s President, Jane Close Conoley, has suggested that funding to move the statue across campus may not be in the cards.
“I hope they are thinking about raising money,” Conoley said. “Because we don’t have any funds to do that.”
Alternatively, Cononley said that the school has dedicated $5,000 to paint an extensive mural and add other enhancements to the plaza between the liberal arts buildings where the statue currently resides to provide context and recognize the indigenous Tongva people.
This is PC insanity. We must fight it. It’s ruining our culture and our history. Nothing can change history except the Stalinists.