Three statues of controversial figures were toppled in San Francisco's Golden Gate Park on Friday night, however, the choice of one of those statues has some historians scratching their heads.
"The whole notion of the Spaniards coming north from Mexico and trying to forcibly to Christianize the Californians who were here who were native peoples," Matthews said.
Key, who wrote "The Star-Spangled Banner," was a slave owner.
Matthews found Union army leader and former President Grant to be an odd choice, especially during a protest on the night of Juneteenth.
"He not only was the victorious general," Matthews explained. "He and (President Abraham Lincoln) were a team, but he really did his level best in the face of a lot of political opposition to protect the rights of Black people in the in the South."
Cal State East Bay History Professor Bridget Ford believes there is a bigger overall point.
"My sense is that this is really a question about who is represented in our public spaces," Ford said.
The toppling of three statues Friday comes as controversy reigned over other Bay Area statues this week. San Francisco removed an often-vandalized figure of Christopher Columbus from historic Telegraph Hill on Thursday. Protesters in Marin County have also called for the removal of a figure and renaming of a popular thoroughfare bearing the namesake of Sir Francis Drake, a controversial explorer and slave owner.
Similar incidents are happening around the country.