Historic mission bell removed from California college

Catholic News Agency | 6/25/2019 | Staff
hi09 (Posted by) Level 3
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Santa Cruz, California, Jun 25, 2019 / 06:49 pm (CNA).- A university in California removed a bell last week after a Native American group claimed the historic piece was disrespectful to their heritage.

The El Camino Real Bell, named for the California route connecting the 21 Franciscan missions, was removed by the University of California, Santa Cruz on Friday. The bell has been on UCSC’s campus since the 1990s. It is one of a series of bells placed along the route.

Amah - Mutsun - Tribal - Band - Objection

The Amah Mutsun Tribal Band issued an objection to the bell during the last school year. The group said the bell symbolized the enslavement and humiliation of their ancestors.

“It is shameful that these places where our ancestors were enslaved, whipped, raped, tortured and exposed to fatal diseases have been whitewashed and converted into tourist attractions,” said Valentine Lopez, chair of the Amah Mutsun Tribal Band, according to Fox News.

Sarah - Latham - University - Vice - Chancellor

Sarah Latham, the university’s vice chancellor of administrative services, said the move was “in support of efforts to be more inclusive,” the Associated Press reported.

A decision regarding the bell’s transfer or destruction has not been announced yet. Amah Mutsun suggested it should either be placed in a museum or melted down.

Bell - Hundreds - Others - California - Fox

The bell is one of the hundreds of others placed around California in 1906. According to the Fox News, a press release from UCSC claimed that these bells has been meant to honor California’s “Hispanic past” and “expand tourism.”

“The bell marker, which memorializes the California Missions and an imagined route of travel that once connected them, is viewed by the Amah Mutsun and many other California indigenous people as a racist symbol that glorifies the domination and dehumanization of their ancestors,” the release continued.

Removal - Bell - Outcries - Monuments - Years

The removal of the bell follows other outcries against historical monuments in recent years. California legislators attempted in 2015 to...
(Excerpt) Read more at: Catholic News Agency
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