Yesterday was the second Monday in October, which in most localities in the U.S. is known as Columbus Day. But in several cities and one state — Alaska — the day has been rechristened Indigenous People’s Day.
The name change is less an expression of pride in the native population of North America that predates Columbus’s arrival than it is a repudiation of alleged crimes that he committed in the name of exploration which, according to Biography.com, included enslavement and mutilation. Proof of the slavery claim is said to reside in the diary Columbus kept in which he wrote that the Taino people he encountered in Hispaniola “were very well built … do not carry arms or know them …. [and hence]should be good servants.”
Biography never enlarges on the mutilation claim, but modern-day sympathizers in the city of Detroit didn’t need proof before going ahead and returning the favor, is symbolically:
The Detroit Free Press reports:
[A] statue of Christopher Columbus in downtown Detroit was vandalized just in time for this year’s Columbus Day.
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