The Kalaupapa National Historical Park in Hawaii honors the life of Father Damien, a Christian missionary who arrived in the islands when Hansen’s disease – leprosy – was rampant.
The NPS explains that when Joseph De Veuster, his real name, arrived, leprosy victims were rounded up and shipped to Molokai to die. Damien learned of the need for a priests for Molokai’s 700 residents and volunteered. Through the influence of his teaching and his life, it became a place to live “rather than a place to die.”
It is this life that Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., has blasted as an artifact of “patriarchy and white supremacist culture.”
The Washington Examiner reports her attack on the missionary came because of the statue of him in the Capitol building, one of two representing the state of Hawaii.
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