Wednesday, 18 October, 2017

Does Christopher Columbus Really Deserve A Holiday?

Alaska celebrates first permanent Indigenous Peoples Day Columbus Day shines light on growing movement to replace holiday
Lillian Steele | 10 October, 2017, 00:39

The federal holiday in the USA this year is October 9. Three states - Alaska, Minnesota and Vermont - have changed the holiday. They also say Columbus didn't "discover" the New World because there were already people living on the islands where he landed.

"This land that all of us inhabit is stolen land - stolen from the indigenous people who were slaughtered and forced onto reservations", Assemblyman Charles Barron told The Post, adding "they should be recognized in replace of Columbus Day".

"As we mark this rich history, we must also acknowledge the pain and suffering reflected in the stories of Native Americans who had long resided on this land prior to the arrival of European newcomers", which included "violence, deprivation, and disease", Obama wrote a year ago. "This is about understanding that for centuries, America's ancestors oppressed certain groups of people". "We do this because our history books erase such history".

Austin, Texas, followed suit last week.

The idea of celebrating Indigenous People's Day first was proposed almost 40 years ago, when a delegation of Native nations to a U.N. conference in Geneva passed a resolution.

Instead of commemorating Columbus, Los Angeles County recently replaced the holiday with Indigenous People's Day, and several cities in the US have also made a decision to celebrate the culture of Native Americans instead of the controversial federal holiday.

The momentum, however, did not gain traction in some areas. In Portland, Oregon, school board officials chose to supplement Columbus Day with Indigenous People's Day.

He likens Columbus less to Robert E. Lee than to the more ambiguous Thomas Jefferson, who "owned slaves, was human and had warts".

Lane and Grossman also preferred altering monuments over removing them, whenever possible.

Some argue that, as an Italian, he is responsible for the birth of Italian-American culture.

A movement to abolish Columbus Day and replace it with Indigenous Peoples Day is gaining momentum.

She believes it's offensive that the US celebrates a man who cost so many Native Americans their lives.

"After Columbus, came millions of European immigrants who brought their art, music, science, medicine, philosophy and religious principles to America", according to the organization.

Columbus Day controversy has flared up every fall since, this year with new fervor: Columbus statues from NY to Minnesota to California have faced vandalism or removal amid newly heightened debate on Confederate monuments, sweeping up the 15th-century figure tied to genocide and slavery.

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