Debates continue over Indigenous People’s, Columbus Day
It seems October 10th is a day where people debate the merits of Columbus Day, over the actual celebration of the day itself.
The century-old holiday celebrates the Spanish-funded Italian explorer “discovering” the western hemispheres, with some saying that the holiday is an important marker in history. Others say it celebrates the man who started centuries of oppression of native and enslaved people.
Back in 2015, the Seattle City Council approved a measure to recognize Indigenous People’s Day on the same day as Columbus Day, and last year, President Biden officially recognized Indigenous People’s Day as a national holiday.
On the Bryan Suits Show on KTTH, host Bryan Suits said that Columbus’ 1492 journey to the new world is something that should be remembered in the context of its time.
“When you study history, you realize it’s not all unicorns and marshmallows, it’s not like Columbus said, ‘oh, make sure all the blankets with smallpox are with us,'” Suits said. “When you look through the moral prism of 2022, you look back on [Columbus] and say, ‘yeah, that was genocide.’ [But back then] it was called conquering, it was called discovering land because the king of Spain sent me here. ”
Others, like Gee Scott from the Gee and Ursula Show, said the barbaric things Columbus did should be denounced rather than celebrated with a federal holiday. Some say Columbus Day is a holiday celebrating Italian Americans, which is why they want to keep celebrating the holiday.
“You said there are a lot of Italian Americans that celebrate Columbus?” Gee asked. “Has anybody read any history on what Christopher Columbus did? Out of all the people to celebrate, do you seriously want to celebrate that man? You can’t pick another person?”
There are other options to give people a federal holiday for, Gee said, specifically pointing to the fact that Election Day is not a holiday that people get to take off.
“The fact that we have Columbus Day as a federal holiday, and not an Election Day as a federal holiday should tell you everything you need to know,” Gee said. “And by the way, while we celebrate Indigenous Peoples’ Day, I will hope that this country continues to reflect and apologize for the treatment of Native Americans in this country.”