Bye, Bye Columbus Day: Hello Indigenous Peoples Day

By Tiffany Rodgers

Today Los Angeles voted to replace Columbus day with Indigenous Peoples Day. It is about time!

Americans do not give enough credit to our Native American friends. What we did to them when we first got here was disgraceful, to say the very least. To celebrate such brutality is inconceivable.

We hope that the rest of the nation will see how important it is to have a day dedicated to the people who welcomed us into their homes. How did we repay their kindness? Killing their people and taking their land. We couldn’t just share now could we? Nope. We had to reign over everything.

The Native Americans deserve every last bit of honor we can manage to give them. They deserve our apology and our gratefulness.

L.A. must be commended on their amazingly progressive stance. Hopefully, this will start to heal the torn relationship we have with Native Americans. They are a rich people. Rich in their traditions. Rich in their ancestry. Rich in their love for others. We could do good in imitating their behaviors.

Western Europeans also brought over diseases against which the original peoples had no immunity.  Some historians have estimated this alone wiped out millions of indigenous peoples.  Yet in spite of the treatment they received from Europeans, many continued to help out those whom we know call Americans.  Lewis and Clarke could never have crossed the country without the guidance of Sakajawea.

Millions knew the story of the U. S. Marine Ira Hayes, a member of the Pima Indian nation, who helped raise the flag over Iwo Jima.  But not until decades later did we learn about another group of Marines, without whose help the Battle of Iwo Jima, as well as others, might well have been lost.  Those were the Navaho Code Talkers, who developed the only unbreakable code during World War II.  Their code was so secret that knowledge about it was not declassified until the 1960s.  Those who wish to learn more about this incredible group of men and Marines should read “Code Talker” by Chester Nez, one of the original code talkers.

Ironically, Christopher Columbus never set foot on the continental United States.  The closest he came was Puerto Rico.  It is ironic that the birthday of an Italian who was funded by the Spanish has even been celebrated in the U.S.

Hopefully, other cites will soon follow step and change Columbus day over. It is the very least we could offer our original citizens for their hospitality. Thank You for allowing us to reside with you in America. Our apologies for our behavior in the past. Together we shall celebrate Indigenous Peoples Day.

Sarcasm, satire, and snark just seem to spew from my being. I may not be everyone's cup of tea, but who can refuse coffee? ?

Share Your Thoughts?