California lawmakers have passed legislation to replace a statue of Saint Junipero Serra in Sacramento’s capitol with a new monument in honor of the state’s native people. Sera’s statue has been in storage since it was vandalized by protesters in July 2020. A humble 18th-century Franciscan priest, Serra would certainly approve of a new monument in honor of the indigenous Californians whom he spent his life serving. Unfortunately, the legislature has gone ahead, defaming his name and advancing a false narrative about the duration of the mission in California.
“The enslavement, mutilation, genocide, and assault on women, both adults and children, were part of the mission period initiated and overseen by Father Serra,” declares Assembly Bill 338, which passed both chambers by a wide margin. And now waiting for Governor Gavin Newsom. signature. None of this is true. While there is much to criticize of the period, no serious historian has ever made such outrageous claims about the sera or mission system, the network of 21 communities that Franciscans called to preach to local people on the California coast. was set up for. The lawmakers behind the bill drew their views from a single trend book written by journalist Elias Castillo.