Indigenous Peoples’ Day vs Columbus Day
I grew up learning about Christopher Columbus in elementary school social studies and in textbooks thereafter. I mostly remember the ships (Nina, Pinta, and Santa Maria) and that he was flat out confused about where he landed. What he called India was actually America. So whenever Columbus day rolled around I never thought much about it other than a reason for retailers to host a sale. But as I got older I learned Chris Columbus was a less than savory character.
Basically he was responsible for the mass genocide of Native Americans, child trafficking, exploitation of the land and resources--hardly a model citizen. The fact is, it's part of American history and in a lot of ways we wouldn't be here if not for that. But there is the argument that he should no longer be exalted with a federal holiday.
In recent years several states have adopted Indigenous Peoples' Day as the new holiday to pay tribute to those who inhabited America before Christopher Columbus landed. Alaska, Hawaii, Maine, New Mexico, Oregon, South Dakota, and Vermont officially observe the holiday.
Idaho along with several other states haven't made the switch, while Alabama and Oklahoma celebrate both holidays concurrently. And even then, "celebrate" is a strong word. I definitely didn't get to stay home from work and get paid for it and I haven't been bombarded with Columbus Day sale notifications like in years past. Whether it's explicitly stated or not, Columbus Day seems to be dying out as social media keeps the Indigenous People's Day posts coming, and I'm not mad at that at all.
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