Posted by 12 October 2020
Today is Columbus Day -- or maybe it's Indigenous Peoples' day. It depends on where you live.
Since the late 1800s, Italian-Americans had pushed for a federal holiday that honors Christopher Columbus. In 1966, they succeeded, and the second Monday in October is now Columbus Day. However, many Native Americans and others have long held that Columbus is not worthy of celebration, and have worked at a state and local level to declare the same day as Indigenous Peoples' Day.
The controversy over Columbus concerns what his detractors claim is his role in promoting slavery and genocide. They argue that his arrival in the Americas led to the enslavement and death of Native people. Columbus's supporters, however, say that he should be celebrated because his voyage was vital to the settling of the New World by Europeans.
Starting in 1989, various state and local governments have either changed their recognition of Columbus Day to Indigenous Peoples' Day (or Native American Day) or have commemorated both. Currently 13 states recognize the day as Indigenous Peoples' Day. These efforts have generally been opposed by Italian-American groups.
Do you think that Columbus Day should be replaced by Indigenous Peoples' Day?