News Worms
News Worms

Native Americans To Picket OKC City Hall On Columbus Day

Native Americans To Picket OKC City Hall On Columbus Day

A movement to abolish Columbus Day and replace it with Indigenous Peoples Day has gained momentum in some parts of the U.S., with Los Angeles in August becoming the biggest city yet to decide to stop celebrating the explorer and instead recognize victims of colonialism. It's all about our Italian heritage and our culture. A few cities, like Salt Lake City and Los Angeles, have made a decision to celebrate Indigenous Peoples Day instead of Columbus Day. Here are some of the reasons why.

"By focusing so much on Columbus you eliminate and erase the histories of the people who were here before him and I think that's disgusting", Yale University senior Chris Rice said.

Columbus Day was established as a federal holiday in 1937, and it celebrated the supposed founding of America by Christopher Columbus, the Italian explorer whose trip was financed by the Spanish monarchy.

How Columbus Day even became a holiday is a complicated story in itself.

"The combination of rape, genocide, trans-Atlantic slave route and also the first importation of African American people to this land are all serious, serious, crimes that we shouldn't be upholding, uplifting, supporting and honoring in public spaces", said Antonio Rafael Cosme, a leader of The Raiz Up Collective.

Still, Columbus Day is celebrated in many parts of the United States and is observed by the federal government.

Nearly all schools are open on Columbus Day. He called upon the people of this country to celebrate the day with ceremonies and activities. Mayor Bill de Blasio, a Democrat and an Italian-American, put together a commission to review statues of controversial figures on city property and to come up with suggestions for how they should be handled. Officials say they expect protesters at the event. We should be talking about what our history books are missing. Most observances where held to mark Columbus' historic voyage. Demographics encourage different celebrations.

It takes more than a few cities replacing Columbus Day with Indigenous People Day, but it's a start.

Less than half of all the states in the USA -23, as well as the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico-legally require Columbus Day to be observed as a paid holiday, according to the Council of States Governments' Book of the States in 2015. The entire state of Alaska has renamed the day. There will be speakers, music and signs, including one that says, "Columbus didn't discover anything, 1000s of native nations were already here". The problem isn't that what he did that was inhumane or whether we'd be here without him - it is the misinformation. "He represents the mascot of American colonialism in the Western Hemisphere".


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