Monthly Archives: October 2018
Here Are The Cities That Celebrate Indigenous Peoples’ Day Instead of Columbus Day
By JENNIFER CALFAS
Updated: October 9, 2017 3:05 PM ET | Originally published: October 8, 2017
Each year, more cities, states and universities opt to celebrate an alternative to Columbus Day: Indigenous Peoples’ Day.
Instead of honoring Christopher Columbus, the Indigenous Peoples’ Day recognizes Native Americans, who were the first inhabitants of the land that later became the United States of America. Advocates for the switch to Indigenous Peoples Day argue that Columbus did not “discover” America in 1492 but instead began the colonization of it. For decades, Native American activists have advocated abolishing Columbus Day, which became a federal holiday in 1937.
This year, both Indigenous Peoples’ Day and Columbus Day are on Monday, Oct. 9.
While the United Nations declared August 9 as International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples in late 1994, Berkeley, Calif., had already become the first city in the U.S. to replace Columbus Day itself. The city’s decision was influenced by the First Continental Conference on 500 Years of Indian Resistance in Quito, Ecuador, in 1990, which spurred another Northern California conference that discussed similar issues and brought them to the Berkeley City Council, TIME has reported.
With the exception of Santa Cruz, Calif., and the state of South Dakota, which adopted the similar Native American Day in place of Columbus Day in 1990, the cities, states and universities that have chosen to celebrate Indigenous Peoples Day instead have done so only recently, with cities like Minneapolis and Seattle voting to celebrate Indigenous Peoples Day instead in 2014.
Which cities and states celebrate Indigenous Peoples’ Day?
Los Angeles County
Santa Cruz, Calif.
San Fernando, Calif.
Long Beach, Calif.
San Luis Obispo, Calif.
Bainbridge Island, Wash.
Grand Rapids, Minn.
St. Paul, Minn.
Ann Arbor, Mich.
Traverse City, Mich.
East Lansing, Mich.
Newstead, New York
Village of Lewiston, New York**
Ithaca, New York
Bexar County, Texas
Harpers Ferry, W.Va.
Salt Lake City
*Celebrates Native American Day.
**Celebrates both Indigenous Peoples Day and Columbus Day.
Why is Columbus Day so controversial now?
Critics of Columbus Day argue that the holiday does not celebrate the discovery of America, but instead honors the mass genocide and colonization of the people indigenous to the land.
“[Columbus] was one of the first Europeans to get to the American continent, but there was a lot of history that came after that in terms of the wiping out of native people,” Loni Hancock, the mayor of Berkeley in 1992 and former California state senator, told TIME in 2014. “It just didn’t seem appropriate. It seemed like a reemphasizing of history and recognizing that to be very ethnocentric really diminishes us all.”
What cities are considering celebrating Indigenous Peoples’ Day instead?
Several other cities are considering an alternative to Columbus Day, replacing celebrations of Columbus with that of indigenous people.
A member of Washington, D.C.’s city council proposed a bill to replace Columbus Day with Indigenous Peoples Day, and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio created a commission to assess the value of monuments of historical figures in public spaces in the city. That includes the monument honoring the Italian explorer in Columbus Circle near Central Park.
Just days before the 2017 holiday, the city council in Austin, Texas, voted to replace Columbus Day with Indigenous Peoples’ Day.
The town of Newcastle, Maine, is considering a change to follow the lead of a number of other cities in the state, though members of the town’s Board of Selectmen’s won’t vote on the matter until the 2017 holiday has passed.
Democrats called out for dangerous rhetoric in epic fashion
A conservative street artist took over a Hollywood billboard this week to protest Congresswoman Maxine Waters (D-CA).
The billboard, which originally featured an advertisement for the upcoming “Halloween” movie, was changed to display Waters instead of the film’s killer Michael Myers.
Located on Pico Boulevard in West Hollywood, the billboard shows the politician wielding a large knife in between the words “#Uncivil Democrats.”
The artist behind the display, known as Sabo, told The Holywood Reporter that the project was in reference to remarks recently made by Waters in which she called on supporters to harass Trump cabinet members.
“If you see anybody from that Cabinet in a restaurant, in a department store, at a gasoline station, you get out and you create a crowd,” Waters said at a rally last June. “You push back on them and you tell them they’re not welcome anymore, anywhere.”
The sign comes as rhetoric from Democrats intensifies over their displeasure with the Trump administration.
Multiple White House officials and Republican politicians have been confronted by outraged liberals over the past several months.
Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) recently warned Democrat lawmakers to tone down their remarks over fears that such charged statements could get someone killed.
“I fear that there’s going to be an assassination,” Paul said during a recent radio interview. “I really worry that somebody is going to be killed, and that those who are ratcheting up the conversation… they have to realize they bear some responsibility if this elevates to violence.”
Sabo has repeatedly made headlines for his conservative art, which includes imagery calling out Hollywood’s silence over accused sexual abuser Harvey Weinstein.
Columbus, Ohio not celebrating Columbus Day
Columbus, Ohio — the midwestern American city named after Christopher Columbus — is not celebrating the famed explorer’s federally recognized holiday, and will instead honor military veterans in its place.
The city has observed Columbus Day probably “for as long as it had been in existence,” a spokesperson for Mayor Andrew Ginther told The Associated Press. But this year, the capital city’s offices will remain open, and instead close on Veterans Day, which falls on Nov. 12.
The mayor’s office said the decision wasn’t made because many U.S. cities are replacing their observance of Columbus Day in favor of Indigenous Peoples Day, but rather because the city doesn’t have the budget to give its 8,500 employees off on both that and Veterans Day.
“We have a number of veterans who work for the city, and there are so many here in Columbus,” Davis said. “We thought it was important to honor them with that day off.”
The celebration of Columbus Day, held on the second Monday of every October, has become growingly contested in recent years, with more U.S. cities choosing to honor the nation’s indigenous people with their own day, which has been recognized by the United Nations since 1994.
The explorer’s history has been divisive as some historians claim Columbus committed atrocities against the Native Americans he encountered as he came to America.
Tyrone Smith, the director of the Native American Indian Center of Central Ohio, said the city’s move to not celebrate Columbus Day is “a victory for everyone.”
“The past is the past. It may not be pretty at times, but we cannot hold what happened back then against today’s society, regardless their bloodline,” he said. “The fact that the city of Columbus is taking action is a victory for everyone.”
But Joseph Contino, an organizer of the city’s 39-year-old Columbus Italian Festival, which is typically held on Columbus Day weekend, blamed the move on what he said is a politically correct culture.
“It’s very in vogue politically right now to do that. It’s not PC for me to say anything against indigenous peoples,” he said. “You can kick Christians, you can kick Catholics. That’s the message that it sends to us and that’s what it feels like; we’re Europeans and we lop Indians’ heads off. Which is just not true.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
City in Ohio says Columbus Day must go
By Lukas Mikelionis | Fox News
Published August 23, 2017
Last Update September 25, 2017
Ohio’s capital city may be named for Christopher Columbus, but that hasn’t stopped the city council of Oberlin, Ohio, from voting to abolish Columbus Day and replace it with Indigenous People’s Day.
The city, home of Oberlin College, is the first in Ohio to no longer recognize Columbus Day.
The council voted unanimously Monday after a public discussion with residents in which two sides clashed on whether the city should stop celebrating Columbus’ 1492 arrival to the Americas, the Columbus Dispatch reported.
“Columbus Day is a touchy subject for some folks. However, the history of Columbus Day speaks for itself,” a supporter of the change told FOX8.
But some residents came out against the change, claiming Columbus Day is about celebrating Italian-American heritage rather than the explorer.
“Columbus Day is a day of Italian-American pride. And I am really disheartened at the ease with which Oberlin City Council is doing away with a day that celebrates Italians,” one resident told FOX8.
“Columbus Day is a day of Italian-American pride. And I am really disheartened at the ease with which Oberlin City Council is doing away with a day that celebrates Italians.”— Oberlin, Ohio, resident
“It sounds a little ridiculous. I think we should keep American holidays they way there are,” seconded another Oberlin resident.
Others argued that Indigenous People’s Day could be celebrated — but on a different date — to avoid pitting Italian-Americans and Native Americans against each other.
Proponents of the move, meanwhile, claimed the Native Americans who live in the area ought to be honored.
Councilwoman Sharon Pearson quoted Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. to justify the change.
“It’s never too late to do the right thing,” she quoted, according to the Morning Journal. “And I think that it is time for us as a community to take the words of our indigenous people and do the right thing.”
“It’s never too late to do the right thing. And I think that it is time for us as a community to take the words of our indigenous people and do the right thing.”— Sharon Pearson, Oberlin, Ohio, councilwoman
According to the 2010 U.S. Census, only 0.2 percent of Oberlin residents are American Indian or Alaskan native.
Columbus has been among the historical figures recently targeted by left-wing activists and local governments looking to remove any references to figures associated with mistreatment of minorities.
Last Saturday, according to the Columbus Dispatch, around 100 protesters rallied in Columbus, demanding the local city government to remove statues of Christopher Columbus.
“Christopher Columbus was an agent of and continues to be a symbol of the genocide of the indigenous peoples of the Americas,” rally attendee Elissa Washuta said.
“Charlottesville is not an anomaly,” claimed one of the demonstration organizers, Tynan Krakoff, referring to the Virginia city where violence erupted earlier this month. “There are symbols and institutions of white supremacy everywhere.”
On Monday, New York City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito said a 76-foot statue of the explorer at Columbus Circle in Manhattan could be the next to go following a review, the New York Post reported.
The council speaker made her objection while condemning another statue – that of Dr. J. Marion Sims – which some residents want removed, saying he is known to have conducted medical experiments on slaves.
Mayor Bill de Blasio has also reportedly said he will “look at that and make decisions accordingly” regarding the statues in the city.
“We’re going to look at all statues and monuments that in any way may suggest hate or division or racism, anti-Semitism — any kind of message that is against the values of New York City,” the mayor said.