As the trendy push to eliminate Confederate symbols continues, a major city on the other side of the country has taken a move to try to lessen Christopher Columbus’ contribution to the exploration of the Western Hemisphere.
According to the Los Angeles Times, the L.A. city council voted Wednesday to remove Columbus Day from the city calendar. Chairwoman Chrissie Castro argued that it was vital her city “dismantle a state-sponsored celebration of genocide of indigenous peoples.”
Instead, the city will now use the second Monday of every October to celebrate “Indigenous Peoples Day.” The council did not appear to address any Native American massacres of other Native Americans or of European-Americans.
Some Italian-Americans in L.A. voiced their disapproval of the move, pointing out that their people group was persecuted in America, too, and argued that their cultural heritage was being erased. Some suggested that “Indigenous Peoples Day” be celebrated on a different day.
Federated Italo-Americans of Southern California president Anna Potenza said to a group of Native Americans, “On behalf of the Italian community, we want to celebrate with you. We just don’t want it to be at the expense of Columbus Day.”
But Castro exclaimed, “To make us celebrate on any other day would be a further injustice.”
Councilman Mike Bonin, who himself descended from Italian immigrants, proclaimed, “This gesture, of replacing Columbus Day with Indigenous Peoples Day, is a very small step in apologizing and in making amends.”
He did not appear to give specifics on why modern Italians need to apologize to modern Native Americans for something that happens more than 500 years ago. As for Indigenous Peoples Day, it’s apparently not a Los Angeles invention. Albuquerque; Denver; Phoenix; Portland, Ore.; and Seattle have all used it to replace Columbus Day as well.
What do you think of this? Meanwhile in a very different part of America, a hugely famous Hollywood actress has just donated $1 million to help victims of Hurricane Harvey.