Vice President Kamala Harris set her sights on ‘European Explorers’ this week as the country celebrated Columbus Day; saying historical figures like Columbus “ushered a wave of devastation” across North and South America.
“Since 1934, every October the United States has recognized the voyage of the European explorers who first landed on the shores of the Americas,” she said. “But that is not the whole story. That has never been the whole story.”
“Those explorers ushered in a wave of devastation for tribal nations — perpetrating violence, stealing land, and spreading disease. We must not shy away from this shameful past, and we must shed light on it and do everything we can to address the impact of the past on native communities today,” added the Vice President.
“Native Americans are more likely to live in poverty, to be unemployed, and often struggle to get quality health care and to find affordable housing… This persistent inequity, this persistent injustice, is not right. And the pandemic has only made it worse,” she asserted.
“I believe strongly that we now have a chance to change things, to improve things — to be better,” concluded the VP.
Watch Harris’ comments above.
COLUMBUS CANCELED: Mass. City Replaces ‘Columbus Day’ with ‘Indigenous Peoples’ Celebration
The city of Somerville, Massachusetts announced their plans to ditch the annual Columbus Day festivities this year; instituting a new celebration in honor of the region’s ‘Indigenous Peoples.’
Somerville Mayor Joe Curtatone unveiled the new holiday Thursday, joining other New England town’s such as Portland, Maine and Durham, New Hampshire who have opted to scrap the traditional American holiday in recent years.
In a Facebook post Thursday, Somerville Mayor Joe Curtatone announced that on Oct. 8, the city would observe Indigenous Peoples’ Day, recognizing Native American heritage rather than extolling Christopher Columbus and his voyage across the Atlantic Ocean. https://t.co/DgXfjtRmBT
— The Boston Globe (@BostonGlobe) September 14, 2018
“Columbus Day is a relic of an outdated and oversimplified version of history,” Curtatone posted on social media. “We all know there’s more to the story than a nursery rhyme.”
“This issue is a lot like the Confederate flag for southerners,” Curtatone added. “We are proud of our heritage. Yet the specifics of this holiday run so deep into human suffering that we need to shift our pride elsewhere.”
COLUMBUS REMOVED: Statue of Christopher Columbus Removed from COLUMBUS, OHIO City Hall
From Fox Columbus:
The Ohio capital named for Christopher Columbus removed a large statue of him outside its city hall on Wednesday, taking down what the mayor described as a symbol of divisiveness and oppression.
The national outcry in recent weeks over racial injustice has amplified criticism that monuments to the explorer honor a legacy linked to the decimation of indigenous peoples.
Columbus State Community College also recently removed its statue of the namesake.
Another statue of Columbus remains downtown outside the Ohio Statehouse, a few blocks from the city hall. The board that oversees the property is slated to meet July 16 to consider whether that statue should go, too.
Read the full report here.