Nothing says the patriarchy like Prospector Pete, am I right? I mean, living in a wood cabin in squalor in the mid-1800s, fighting each day to achieve the American Dream, with the boldness of a uniquely American spirit—it's just so oppressive to those poor college kids at the California State University-Long Beach.
When they see a statue of Prospector Pete, known on campus as "the Forty-Niner Man," they don't see the hard work and isolation that goes into being an American in the ultimate wilderness. They don't see the possibilities of achieving a dream. They see racism and genocide.
President Jane Close Conoley said in a statement to the university:
As our diversity grew and more voices were heard, we came to know that the 1849 California gold rush was a time in history when the indigenous peoples of California endured subjugation, violence and threats of genocide. Today, the spirit of inclusivity is reflected in our students, faculty, staff, alumni and community. Today's Beach is not connected to that era.
The recent resolution to have the statue removed reads:
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. Prospectors in California perpetuated colonization, white supremacy, racism and exclusion ideals not only against indigenous American communities, but also women, people of color and non-Protestant communities.
The document reads like a Neo-Marxist rant straight out of a Sociology textbook. In part, because it is. It's one more example of Postmodern social justice changing the world as we know it.