The Ocean

Johnston Mayor Unveils Columbus Statue, Teases Future Additions to “Celebrating Mass Murder Series”

Johnston’s Mayor Joseph Polisena Jr. unveiled a Columbus statue previously evicted from Providence, teasing a “Celebrating Mass Murder Series” with Genghis Khan and King Leopold II. “For every peaceful leader, remember the not-so-peaceful ones,” he quipped, as residents facepalmed.

Rhode Island News: Johnston Mayor Unveils Columbus Statue, Teases Future Additions to “Celebrating Mass Murder Series”

October 9, 2023, 12:03 pm

By Uprise RI Entertainment Staff

JOHNSTON, RI – In a bold move that has left many scratching their heads, Johnston Mayor Joseph Polisena Jr. proudly unveiled a Christopher Columbus statue in the town’s central square today, roughly 3 years after the controversial figure was evicted from Providence by Pioneer Investments for failing to pay rent.

“Johnston has always been a town that celebrates history, all of it,” Polisena Jr. said, winking so hard he may have pulled a muscle. “And what better way to remember history than to honor Mr. Columbus’ legacy of cruelty, slavery, and genocide against indigenous peoples by erecting this statue that was rejected from another city.”

The statue depicts Columbus’ arrival in the new world and features him brandishing a sword over cowering, chained Native Americans to represent the beginning of centuries of marginalization and abuse of indigenous populations across the Americas.

The mayor’s decision has been met with a mix of bewilderment, laughter, and outright disbelief. Local resident, Tina Rodriguez, commented, “I thought it was a joke at first. I mean, why would anyone want to celebrate Columbus after everything we’ve learned about him? But then I remembered who our mayor is.”

But Polisena Jr. didn’t stop there. In a surprise announcement during the statue’s unveiling, he teased future installations in what he’s calling the “Celebrating Mass Murder Series.”

“Next spring, we’ll be adding a life-sized statue of Genghis Khan riding a horse, followed by a tasteful bronze of King Leopold II in the summer,” the mayor declared, seemingly unfazed by the gasps from the crowd. “It’s all about balance. For every peaceful leader we celebrate, we should also remember the not-so-peaceful ones. It’s only fair.”

Local historian, Dr. Emily Thompson, weighed in on the mayor’s unique approach to public art. “It’s certainly a…choice,” she said, choosing her words carefully. “While it’s important to remember history, I’m not sure this is the best way to go about it. But then again, this is Johnston.”

Inspired by recent events, the mayor’s office also hinted at temporary holiday additions to the series, including a Benjamin Netanyahu-themed “playground” for children who misbehave. The city is also considering adding interpretive plaques to explain how each historical figure contributed to human misery and regression.

Polisena concluded by encouraging residents to submit suggestions for additional monuments that could highlight other examples of tyranny and trampling on basic human rights by calling him directly at (401) 553-8800.

The Ocean is a satirical look at past, present, and future stories that have occurred or may occur in Rhode Island. This is a single-article preview. Read the full edition of The Ocean, coming later this month to Uprise RI.