Celebration of Christopher Columbus or the indigenous peoples, America torn apart by a holiday

“Columbus day” or “Indigenous Peoples’ Day”, you have to choose. For the first time in the United States, the second Monday in October, a federal holiday that traditionally celebrated the arrival of Christopher Columbus in America, was also observed as Indigenous Peoples Day.

Hailed by Amerindians, who see in Christopher Columbus the symbol of white colonialism, the decision of the Biden administration has made waves among conservatives, who denounce a new example “ woke ” of the ” cancel culture “.

“Colonialism and genocide”

While Indigenous Peoples Day dates back to the 1990s, Joe Biden is the first US president to recognize it at the federal level. Technically, the White House has not canceled “Columbus day”. Joe Biden’s proclamation recognizes the two statutory holidays. States and municipalities are free to observe either or both. A dozen states, including Alaska, New Mexico and Oregon, in particular, have shelved Christopher Columbus, and a dozen others are celebrating the two holidays.

“The Navajo Nation has long been opposed to Columbus Day which celebrates colonialism, oppression and injustice inflicted on indigenous peoples. Christopher Columbus is credited by some for having ‘discovered’ America, but these lands were inhabited by many peoples with advanced cultures. For generations, indigenous communities have fought to survive in the face of colonization, assimilation, disease and genocide, ”said representatives of the semi-autonomous Amerindian territory.

“Erase our history”

In recent years, the United States has undertaken a self-examination. The debate on the dark pages of American history has notably led to the withdrawal of many statues of Confederate generals. Last year, statues of Christopher Columbus were also removed in Chicago, Boston and San Francisco, and one debunked by protesters in Baltimore. In a speech, Donald Trump then denounced an “attempt to erase our history”, qualifying Christopher Columbus as “discoverer of America”.

Monday, polemicist Ben Shapiro hailed a “national hero”. “Today is Columbus day, no one will be able to rewrite history,” said Tennessee Senator Marsha Blackburn. Lou Barletta, a Republican candidate for governor of Pennsylvania, finally denounced “an attempt to erase our Italian history”, concluding: “I refuse to give in to the pack woke of the cancel culture. “

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