'Reconsider what we glorify': SJ mayor supports removal of controversial statue downtown

SAN JOSE, Calif. (KGO) -- For the third time in as many decades, San Jose is weighing whether to remove a controversial statue of former mayor Thomas Fallon, which sits at the Western entrance to downtown and was commissioned by the former San Jose Redevelopment Agency in the late 1980s, before the city's current public art review process was put in place.

The statue commemorates Fallon planting an American flag into the city's soil in 1846, to claim the land from Mexico during the Mexican-American War.

Stanford history professor Albert Camarillo says the statue "reflects a history of oppression, of conflict, of the worst aspects of Manifest Destiny, of genocide against Native American people."

San Jose's mayor Sam Liccardo supports removing the statue, explaining the lack of context for such a prominent structure.

"Statues in museums teach history," Liccardo said.

"Statues in prominent outdoor spaces glorify history, often without reflection. We should reconsider what we glorify."
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