Columbus Day or Indigenous Peoples' Day 🤔

Kenneth C. Zirkel / Wikimedia Commons

Kenneth C. Zirkel / Wikimedia Commons

A controversial history

Yesterday was what is federally known as Columbus Day - a day celebrating the arrival of Christopher Columbus to the Americas. Over time, the notion that Columbus "discovered" America has become controversial since Native Americans were already in America. In addition, Columbus’ arrival brought foreign diseases to the continent. He also advocated for slavery and initiated the mass genocide of Native Americans. His murky past has resulted in a movement to change Columbus Day to Indigenous Peoples' Day.

Italian-American pride

Early Italian-American immigrants embraced Columbus (an Italian) as a symbol of cultural pride in an era where Italians were heavily discriminated against in America. Italians were barred from opportunities, referred to as “black,” “inefficient,” and “worthless.” In an effort to culturally unite in the face of discrimination, Columbus was lauded as their hero.


Huffington Post: Columbus Day Is A Monument To White Supremacy

MinnPost: Minnesota, we need to talk about our Columbus monument

Outlets against Columbus Day
emphasize his controversial legacy and exploits against indigenous people of America. They argue that Columbus’s brutality and violent treatment of Native Americans is not something that should be celebrated. They believe that history should be rewritten to be more respectful of the struggles of both Italian-Americans and Native Americans. 


Orlando Sentinel: Commentary: It’s Columbus Day. Please give Christopher a break

Daily Wire: TRIGGER WARNING: Trump Celebrates Christopher Columbus On 'Columbus Day'

Outlets supporting Columbus Day 
believe that Columbus is unfairly blamed for brutalities against Native Americans when the blame should primarily fall on the settlers who came after him. These outlets acknowledge that terrible things were done to natives, but that if it wasn't Columbus, someone else would have come along and done the same. This side believes Columbus should be honored for his courageousness in sailing to an unknown place.

Who's dropping Columbus Day?

While Columbus Day is a federal holiday, many cities and states have opted to drop the holiday or rename it to Indigenous Peoples' Day. This year, even Columbus, Ohio decided not to observe the holiday for the first time. San Francisco and Cincinnati also joined the party. Minnesota, Alaska, Vermont, and Oregon are a few of the states that have replaced the holiday with Indigenous Peoples' Day.

Can we also stop calling "Native Americans" "Indians"? Reminder:



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