In an effort for cultural appropriation, Los Angeles City Council just pulled the biggest stunt on Wednesday towards the movement by replacing Columbus Day with Indigenous People’s Day.
The proposal to replace the holiday was introduce back in November 2015 by Councilman Mitch O’Farrell, whom is a member of the Wyandotte Nation tribe, because of “Columbus’ legacy of extreme violence, enslavement and brutality” and “the suffering, destruction of cultures, and subjugation of Los Angeles’ original indigenous people, who were here thousands of years before anyone else.”
With the current uprising against Confederate statues, this was an opportune time for the councilman to reintroduce the motion.
The entire council voted to replace Christopher Columbus day except for one person.
Joe Buscaino — who voted against the proposal. Buscaino is expected to introduce a second proposal that would schedule an Indigenous Peoples’ Day to take place on Aug. 9, and replace Columbus Day with “Embrace L.A. Day.”
Buscaino sided with Italian-Americans against the holiday change, who view Columbus Day as a celebration of their Italian heritage.
“With or without Columbus, Italians will continue to celebrate their sacrifices and contributions to this great country and our great city,” Buscaino said following the vote.
Christopher Columbus’s history has been often disputed among historians, as some claim he committed ethical crimes against Native Americans he had encountered when landing in America.
However, the National Christopher Columbus Association — which is calling for Los Angeles to keep the holiday as is — insists Columbus was not responsible for genocide by the foreigners who arrived after him.
“It is a huge error to blame Christopher Columbus the man for (genocide) at all,” Patrick Korten, a board member of the Association, told the L.A. City News Service. “He bore no responsibility for it and as a matter of fact, if you do the slightest little bit of history on the man and read his diaries, and what was said about him following the years of the discovery, it is clear that Columbus personally had great affection for the indigenous people he encountered and went out of his way to order his men not to abuse them in any fashion.”
Indigenous Peoples’ Day was created as a counter-holiday to Columbus Day and, in 1994, was declared as an internationally-recognized holiday by the United Nations.
Los Angeles is the largest — but not the only — city to get rid of the “Columbus Day” name. The city now joins San Francisco, Seattle, Minneapolis, Berkeley, Santa Cruz and the states of South Dakota, Hawaii, Alaska and Oregon, in celebrating indigenous, aboriginal and native people rather than the famed explorer.
Columbus Day, recognized by the government as a federal holiday, is celebrated on the second Monday of October each year.
Whose side are you on? Do you think the renaming of the holiday is necessary or completely uncalled for?
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