Christopher Columbus Statue Covered On LA's First Indigenous Peoples Day

Marie Harrington
October 10, 2017

But in more than 50 USA cities, along with a few universities, counties and states, it's not.

Columbus' landing in Hispaniola (modern day Haiti and the Dominican Republic) wiped out the native Taino people with disease and slavery.

Columbus Day controversy has flared up every fall since, this year with new fervor: Columbus statues from NY to Minnesota to California have faced vandalism or removal amid newly heightened debate on Confederate monuments, sweeping up the 15th-century figure tied to genocide and slavery.

The urban legend would have you believe Americans celebrate Columbus Day to honor a heroic man who founded the US.

"We do not celebrate him because of what he did negatively", Angelo Vivolo from the Columbus Citizen's Foundation told 1010 WINS' Roger Stern.

For instance, Cambridge past year passed a resolution declaring Indigenous Peoples Day on the second Monday of October.

"Columbus was controversial and he had his dark side, as many figures in history, but taking the statue down will cause a lot of division", Albanese said.

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However, in the United States, the holiday has been met with opposition by some who say Columbus Day glorifies a man and a culture that ran roughshod over the indigenous people who were living in the New World before Europeans arrived.

"We need to take these statues down because we don't need to be constantly reminded of our oppressors and the bad history so we need to take these statues down", Juan Aguirre, one of the people protesting, said. "And while we can't change the past, we can acknowledge and make that history right today". "You honor it by making it no longer invisible". Some have even taken to celebrating "Indigenous People's Day" on Columbus Day. A few dozen cities - from Bangor, Maine, to Spokane, Wash. - have now made the switch, along with schools such as Syracuse University and the University of Utah.

States like Alaska, Hawaii, Oregon, South Dakota, and Vermont do not recognize Columbus Day at all; however, Hawaii and South Dakota mark the day with an alternative holiday.

More than 3,000 people RSVP'ed for the Indigenous Peoples Day event on the group's Facebook page, but an organizer pointed out that many of them are not local.

Los Angeles Councilman Mitch O'Farrell, a member of the Wyandotte Native American tribe, said historical accuracy is important. They join 25 other cities nationwide in recognizing Indigenous People's Day.

"They want to change holidays".

Other reports by TheSundaySentinel

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