Indigenous people will finally get their day - and Christopher Columbus will lose his - in Los Angeles County, which approved a new holiday to honor the people dishonored by the old holiday. (Leif Ericson landed in Newfoundland nearly 500 years earlier, an even more remarkable feat.) But his arrival in the Caribbean in 1492 also led to the forced colonization and eventual extermination of tens of millions of native inhabitants of the Western Hemisphere.
Christopher Columbus, oftentimes accredited with "discovering America" by residents of the Americas, isn't viewed in the same light by native peoples of the Americas. They join 25 other cities nationwide in recognizing Indigenous People's Day. Italians thrive - from the North Country to the South Bronx and from Tonawanda to Tottenville - there is not a community in New York State where our presence isn't felt.
Columbus was an Italian explorer, and the history books say he discovered the Americas on October 12, 1492.
"People just can't let things be", added Maria DiCiaccio, also of the Tewksbury Sons of Italy. They want to take away peoples' heritage.
The anti-holiday provides one more piece of evidence on the reflexive alienation of a significant chunk of Americans from their culture.
Three men reportedly vandalized a statue of Christopher Columbus in Chicago Saturday. The nearby Village of Akron has already instated Indigenous People's Day as a local holiday as well. Nevertheless, Munro says she and others worked to change that at Tufts University, as well as in the city of Cambridge. All are more deserving of a holiday than the man the United States is honoring on Monday. "He's not an appropriate hero", Munro said.
"He was Italian, but he came in the name of Spain and we speak Spanish". Well, they didn't have all the information.
If history is our guide, Columbus Day shouldn't be celebrated in the United States.
"What message does it send to our children to celebrate the genocide of indigenous people?".
"We gather during a teachable moment to discuss the ongoing impacts of that legacy and to commit ourselves to reversing them", the group said.
The Bronx Columbus Day Parade Committee did not invite Mayor Bill de Blasio to the event, saying he did not take a strong enough position to protect the Columbus statue in Columbus Circle.
The program continues, "It is the legislative task of the Connecticut State Assembly to bring about a unified public policy for the people of Connecticut and to work with the Town and School administrations to develop a genuinely faithful importance of history's integrity as the Story of Mankind".
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