War on Statues Extends to Alaska

  • According to the protesters, the statue offends the feelings of representatives of indigenous peoples.
  • This has been an ongoing situation in many US States.
  • The destruction of history is never a good thing.

In Alaska, a group of local residents demanded that a monument to the chief ruler of the Russian colonies in North America, Alexander Baranov, be demolished. There have been localized protests in Alaska pertaining the monument. One has to ask what this movement, in Alaska and on the mainland, is really about.

Alexander Baranov was a Russian statesman, businessman and collegiate adviser. He was the first chief ruler of Russian settlements in North America (1790-1818). He was engaged in the construction of fortified settlements, founded a shipyard, started local shipbuilding, built a copper smelter and school, organized coal mining, and expanded the Kalan fishery. Due to his tireless efforts, locals were able to have more commercial goods and services and obtain education. He never forced anyone and was always well respected in his time. He died in 1819.

The City and Borough of Sitka is a unified city-borough in the southeast portion of the U.S. state of Alaska. The city is situated on the west side of Baranof Island and the south half of Chichagof Island in the Alexander Archipelago of the Pacific Ocean (part of the Alaska Panhandle). As of the 2010 census, Sitka had a population of 8,881.

Russia never owned slaves, nor used black labor. Therefore, the only answer is that the US has a racist campaign against the white race. It should never be about anyone race, period. No one should be reprimanded or mistreated based on race, ethnicity or religion.

At the same time you can’t blame everyone for what happened in the past. There are many that were oppressed. In the Soviet Era, Stalin murdered many people.

My family lost all the lands due to the 1917 Revolution that were stolen by the Communists. Now, they are further destroyed by the Ukraine-Russia conflict. Can I blame everyone, or the entire populous? No. That seems to be the trend in the US— cast blame and shaming.

According to the protesters, the statue, which was presented to the city by a local rich family in 1989, offends the feelings of representatives of indigenous peoples. There are defenders of the monument in Sitka, who point to its historical and artistic value.

The final decision must be made by the local council. The option of preserving the monument to the head of Russian settlements is considered, but as a balance, it is proposed to put a monument to representatives of the indigenous population, Tlingit.

Russian America was the name of the Russian colonial possessions in North America from 1733 to 1867. Its capital was Novo-Arkhangelsk (New Arkhangelsk), which is now Sitka, Alaska, United States. n 1867, Russia sold its last remaining possessions to the United States of America for $7.2 million ($132 million in today’s terms).

This has been an ongoing situation in many US States. In reality, only Native Americans have claims to the land. Therefore, any others are the equivalent of illegal immigrants and trespassers, regardless of how they got to the US.

However, the destruction of history is never a good thing. History is there to learn from those mistakes. Without knowing those mistakes, history tends to repeat itself on the myriad of levels, especially when it comes to wars.

At present, US President Donald Trump gave government forces powers to arrest anyone who is going to vandalize historic monuments. Also, such offense can carry up to 10 years in prison.  It seems that the unrest is fueled by myriad of groups.

It would also be interesting to see the response from Russia, if in fact the monument is removed. Alaska is close to Russia, which also would be odd to suggest such.

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Christina Kitova

I spent most of my professional life in finance, insurance risk management litigation.

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