Save our ship
Thank you to the writers of the letters "Have the courage to say NO" and "It's a ship". These letters appeared in the March 14 edition of the Times in response to the article of March 12 regarding the use of the Columbus ship Santa Maria as our city logo.
It seems Mr. Scott Fina, a teacher at Hancock College, is recommending that the City of Santa Maria and SM high school district no longer use the logo of the Columbus ship. Mr. Fina believes that the imagery of the ship, the Santa Maria, is demeaning to the region's large number of Indigenous students.
In my opinion, we have other more important problems to deal with. Instead of teaching students about racial injustice why not teach them just how lucky they are to live, worship, work and go to school in this valley. I understand the point of the objection to the logo, but instead of teaching these students how it disrespects them, teach them to appreciate how far we have come and how to help in moving forward, not backward.
I am a native Santa Marian, a native of California, and therefore a native of America. I resent the fact that people want to come into our town, our country and change things more to their liking or worse yet, where they came from. If you need to change things then change something for the better, such as race relations. In my opinion this cancel culture must cease.
Stand up Santa Maria. Urge your city councilperson and the Santa Maria High School board not to make this change. We have other more important problems to deal with.
New logo, new vision needed
The city of Santa Maria was named after Mary, the mother of Jesus by Juan Pacifico Ontiveros, who arrived in the region on her Feast Day in 1856. Over 100 years later, the image of the biggest of Columbus’ ships, the Santa Maria, was attached to the name as a branding device. The city was never named after the voyage of Columbus, so why perpetuate that lie with the image of a slave ship?
Imagery of the ship is described as representing the city's "positive, bold and enterprising spirit unafraid of the challenge and sailing into the future." How could a slave ship, a ship reminiscent of such violent savagery, be an image for anything positive or bold?
Christopher Columbus was a merchant in search of gold who believed he had reached India, and called the generous and kind people he met “Indians” before he captured, tortured, mass murdered and enslaved them. He was paid for his voyage by the Crown and expected to pay them back in gold, jewels and as a last resort he offered them slave labor.
Columbus was known to be unnecessarily cruel, dishonest, disliked for his unpredictable violent behavior by his own crew, and motivated almost exclusively by greed and vanity. Over half of the 500 people he enslaved on the Santa Maria were so abused and malnourished, they died before he reached Europe. Are these the qualities this city wants to emulate? His ship is an icon of human injustice and degradation.
Let’s stop perpetuating a logo of lies. Let’s find a new logo that represents all of us, a new vision of hope for the next generation. Maybe we can have a contest to find an image that truly captures the imagination of our community today and brings out the best in us.
Rev. Judith Elia
Smarter choices for the future
Hancock teacher Scott Fina's opinion that Santa Maria's Columbus ship logo be eliminated because it might offend some people because of Columbus's treatment of them I find over the line.
Are we all becoming so fragile and worried about hurting someone's feelings that it's come to erasing anything they did in the past? Instead, why don't we use it for educational purposes and explain why something might be offensive and how can we do things differently?
I'm sure at the time Columbus was around this was not unusual. Doesn't make it right, but to erase history, tear down statues, eliminate logos, is that the way we really want to go? What's next? Dismantling missions because of Native American slavery? I think it's time to quit looking at how we can get rid of history and make smarter choices in the future instead.