Reposted – with updates – from October 12, 2020
Good morning, America. Happy Indigenous Peoples’ Day.
Thanks to President Joe Biden, Indigenous Peoples’ Day is now an official holiday.
In previous years I had reposted Christopher Columbus was just another wise guy with a boat, but I’m done with that guy. It’s time to move on.
We wouldn’t have a special day for an astronaut who blasted off for the moon but wound up in a Walmart parking lot.
Besides the fact that you can’t discover a place that other people have already inhabited (for about 15,000 years), the Vikings beat Columbus to America by about 500 years AND…Columbus never even stepped foot on America.
Replacing Columbus Day with Indigenous Peoples’ Day took root in 1977 at a conference in Switzerland focusing on the mistreatment of indigenous people in the Americas.
Indigenous Peoples’ Day recognizes that Native people are the first inhabitants of the Americas, including the lands that later became the United States. It urges Americans to rethink history.
It turns out that we White people are the ungrateful immigrants.
South Dakota became the first state to switch Columbus Day to Native Americans’ Day, inaugurating the celebration in 1990.
In 1991, the Berkeley (CA) City Council declared October 12 a Day of Solidarity with Indigenous People.
Last year, Louisiana’s Governor John Bel Edwards, petitioned by Baley Champagne of the United Houma Nation changed Columbus Day to Indigenous Peoples’ Day and several other states followed.
Said Champagne, It’s become a trend. It’s about celebrating people instead of thinking about somebody who…tried to cause the genocide of an entire population. By bringing Indigenous Peoples’ Day, we’re bringing awareness that we’re not going to allow someone like that to be glorified.
Back in the 70’s I used to sell tee shirts at the Feast of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel in Melrose Park, IL, one of the biggest Italian festivals in the country.
There’s at least a half dozen Italian festivals around Chicagoland (in non-COVID years) and we have Little Italy 365 days a year.
Italians have pizza, ices, spumoni, cannoli, chianti and ravioli. They don’t need a special day in October to take their cornicellos out for a spin.
Italians are by nature gracious, generous and family oriented. It’s time for them to put those qualities to the test and give up that one, unnecessary day to a group that has lived under our radar for too long.
There’s a little known fact about Pocahontas that might ease the transition. Her only son was named Thomas Rolfe but, according to legend, she wanted to name him Guido.
If you’re looking for something to do today, check out Five Ways to Celebrate Indigenous Peoples’ Day 2021.
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