We’re old enough to remember the last round of national hysteria about statues in 2017; it was enough so that Baltimore literally removed all its Confederate statues at once in the dead of night, having crews working from 11:30 p.m. to 5:30 a.m. to avoid any violence.

Vandals have already pulled down and/or beheaded statues of Christopher Columbus, but Philadelphia’s mayor is seeking to have the city remove its Columbus statue before someone gets hurt — there were reports of clashes Tuesday night between Black Lives Matter protesters and armed men who stood guard over the statue to protect it from vandalism.

Anna Orso reports:

Mayor Jim Kenney said in a statement Wednesday afternoon the city will ask the Art Commission on July 22 to approve the statue’s removal “in light of ongoing public safety concerns about the presence of armed individuals at Marconi Plaza and confrontations between those who support the statue and those opposed to it.”

Some supporters of the statue have repeatedly stood at its base and milled around the public plaza, some carrying weapons, claiming they were defending it from anyone with an intention of tearing it down. Observers said members of the group physically attacked protesters on June 14. And a group Tuesday night brawled with protesters who marched to the plaza after a protest “against racist vigilantes and their cop allies.”

Frankly, we’re surprised the vandals hadn’t already toppled the statue, but the Philadelphia Inquirer reports that it’s been boxed up since last week while the city decided what to do with it. (If you search for the statue on Google, some wit has renamed it “Schrodinger’s Columbus Statue Box.”)

They walked past these statues for decades, but it wasn’t until 2017 that minorities made clear the pain it made them feel, apparently.

Speaking of public safety, maybe the city doesn’t want a repeat of May 30, when the mostly peaceful and unarmed rioters were doing their thing:

But the real danger is the armed men — um, racist white vigilantes — who haven’t fired a single shot.

Related: