In Richmond, Virginia’s Byrd Park there stands a statue of the great explorer Christopher Columbus. Or at least it used to stand there until last night. Now it’s sitting on the bottom of a nearby lake. And that was only after it was spray-painted with graffiti. And set on fire. It’s hard to be sure, but it sounds like somebody really has some issues with Columbus.

A statue of Christopher Columbus in Richmond was torn down by protesters, set on fire and then thrown into a lake.

The figure was toppled less than two hours after protesters gathered in the city’s Byrd Park were chanting for the statue to be taken down, news outlets reported.

After the figure was removed from its pedestal around 8:30 p.m. Tuesday by protesters using several ropes, a sign that reads, “Columbus represents genocide” was placed on the spray-painted foundation that once held the statue. It was then set on fire and rolled into a lake in the park, NBC 12 reported.

Riling up the crowd shortly before they tore the statue down was a woman named Chelsea Higgs-Wise. She gave a speech about the “struggles of indigenous people and African-Americans in America.” She informed the masses that they needed to “start where it all began, with the people who first stood on this land.”

Interestingly, Higgs-Wise promotes herself as “a clinical social worker and experienced facilitator who specializes in connecting people from different walks of life to create equitable communication strategies.” Really? So I take it that inciting a mob to tear down a piece of city-owned property is an equitable communication strategy? Or perhaps she didn’t go along with the actual destruction and would have preferred that the protesters pursue a more legal route to their objectives? Not by the looks of her Twitter account.

And from the looks of this, she wasn’t too upset about the statue being set on fire, either. At least she includes a video of the crime taking place.

Wow. That’s an interesting interpretation of “connecting people from different walks of life.” I wonder if she does children’s birthday parties?

The sad part of all of this is that the protesters probably could have had the statue removed legally by the city, judging by the way the dominos have been falling lately. The Governor is currently battling the courts to get permission to take down a statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee, and while he’s run into a ten-day setback, it looks as if he’ll wind up succeeding. He could probably have managed the same with the Columbus statue.

Of course, what we’re seeing here is simply the latest incident of progressives taking advantage of the current national unrest to try to ram through every one of their previously thwarted priorities while they feel like their opponents are in the mood to apologize. Columbus had absolutely nothing to do with what happened to George Floyd unless you want to lay the blame for any sort of racial confrontations around the planet for the past 500 years at his feet. (Columbus never even set foot on the North American mainland, by the way.)

In much the same way that anti-police activists are overplaying their hands with calls to defund or abolish law enforcement, those who have legitimate complaints about incidents of racial animus related to excessive use of force by police seem to be attracting anyone and everyone with any sort of social justice complaint. And they’re not tearing down a statue of a Confederate soldier here. Columbus is still a revered figure to many and he holds an important place in our history. At some point, the rest of the country is going to start pushing back and this “moment” may turn out to have been wasted or entirely lost for progressives.