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While the history of the project of replacing Columbus Day with Indigenous Peoples Day may have started in the 1970s, plenty of states and cities still celebrate Columbus Day as a national holiday.
There are many voices among the contesters of the established holiday. Their main argument is history itself: while the importance of Columbus’ discovery of the Americas is uncontested, his handling of the colonization process is marked by years of slavery and slaughter.
More Americans Have Stopped Viewing Christopher Columbus As A Hero
Centuries later, more people in the United States wish to demystify the image of the great Christopher Columbus and stop celebrating him altogether. The holiday takes place every second Monday of October and is said to add insult to injury even to the Native Americans of today. Even if America was built on bloodshed and history cannot be erased, celebrating Columbus Day is, for some, like celebrating Hitler Day in Germany.
But now that the Holiday is upon us, more and more people rally in support of dropping Columbus Day altogether from our holiday calendar. All year, cities from various states have rallied to the cause, but the most recent celebrations began last week, on September 28th when the City Council of Santa Fe, New Mexico unanimously voted to replace Columbus Day with Indigenous Peoples Day.
Many City Councils Have Voted Indigenous People Day As The Right Celebration
On Monday this week, the Denver City Council voted to recognize Indigenous Peoples Day every second Monday of October permanently. On Tuesday, the City Council of Yakima Washington voted to drop Columbus Day and replace it with the indigenous celebration holiday. On Wednesday, the City Council of Phoenix, Arizona, voted unanimously to recognize Indigenous Peoples Day on the same date as Columbus Day (though this doesn’t cancel the latter).
On the same day, around 80 people have gathered in front of Boston’s City Hall, demanding their city implement the change. Many were vocal about the holiday, claiming that Columbus was never the hero that we learned about in schools, but rather a bringer of “genocide.”
One notable exception was Cincinnati, Ohio. Five of the nine City Council members chose to abstain, thus rejecting the proposal. The initiator of change, Councilwoman Yvette Simpson, was said to be shocked by the results, though she has now become more determined to run for mayor next year.
Which holiday are you celebrating this year, on October 10th?
Image source: Wikipedia