Minneapolis City Council to vote on renaming Columbus Day

bradl

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This will surely stick in the craw of those who believe "if it ain't broke, don't fix it!", like the Michele Bachmanns of the world..

But let's face it; Columbus did plunder, was cruel and violent to this part of the world, and to be honest, history is flat out wrong. He didn't discover America, and other people were here first.

So what is wrong with correcting history?

http://www.startribune.com/local/blogs/256044511.html

Council to vote on renaming 'Columbus Day'
Posted by: Eric Roper Updated: April 21, 2014 - 12:19 PM

Minneapolis is preparing to strike "Columbus Day" from its calendar this October.

The City Council is expected to vote Friday on a resolution that would rename the federal holiday "Indigenous People's Day" on all city communications. The vote follows a similar effort in Red Wing, where the city mulled changing Columbus Day to "First People's Day" earlier this year.

The Red Wing city council has yet to act on the resolution. City Council administrator Kay Kuhlmann said in an e-mail that the council discussed the matter in a workshop but has not scheduled it for action on any upcoming agenda.

The effort in Minneapolis is being spearheaded by new City Council Member Alondra Cano. She said they have been working with the Native American Community Development Institute and a handful of other Native American leaders.

“This is more about elevating the American Indian perspective than it is about being anti-Columbus," Cano said. "Although there are plenty of people that will talk about the deep violence that Christopher Columbus used and enacted when he first came to this part of the world."

The Red Wing resolution noted that Columbus never stepped foot in North America and practiced "extreme cruelty" in the New World. A full accounting of Columbus' legacy in America is documented in a recent podcast from Backstory.

"From a basic historical perspective there’s a lack of understanding about what Christopher Columbus did or didn’t do," Cano said. "So we’re just trying to make sure that people are aware of a more clear and accurate history in terms of what is that folks are celebrating on Christopher Columbus day, what does that mean for them.”

The practical effect in Minneapolis will be largely limited to changing the name of the holiday on official communications from the city, including the calendar and press releases. If the resolution passes Friday, those documents will now refer to the second Monday in October as "Indigenous People's Day."

Though several states do not recognize Columbus Day, it is defined as a holiday in Minnesota statutes. The city of Berkely, Ca. has celebrated Indigenous People's Day since 1992.
BL.
 
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citizenzen

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We shouldn't be taking away holidays.

We should only add new holidays.

I could use some more time off.
 

bradl

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We shouldn't be taking away holidays.

We should only add new holidays.

I could use some more time off.
They aren't taking away a holiday; they are renaming that holiday. The holiday will still exist; the vote is for changing it to not be for Columbus.

BL.
 

TheHateMachine

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Sep 18, 2012
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They aren't taking away a holiday; they are renaming that holiday. The holiday will still exist; the vote is for changing it to not be for Columbus.

BL.
I can totally see companies deciding to cut off this day from corporate calendars and now they have an excuse that isn't "Screw you workers, work harder and take less days off."
 

rdowns

macrumors Penryn
Jul 11, 2003
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I can totally see companies deciding to cut off this day from corporate calendars and now they have an excuse that isn't "Screw you workers, work harder and take less days off."
A local law doesn't take away the holiday's federal designation.

Columbus Day has always been the middle, red-headed child of holidays with most not getting off.
 
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Don't panic

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This will surely stick in the craw of those who believe "if it ain't broke, don't fix it!", like the Michele Bachmanns of the world..

But let's face it; Columbus did plunder, was cruel and violent to this part of the world, and to be honest, history is flat out wrong. He didn't discover America, and other people were here first.

So what is wrong with correcting history?

http://www.startribune.com/local/blogs/256044511.html



BL.
obviously other people were here first (duh), and he was looking for (and thought he found) the Indies, but it was his trips and drive that established that a Sea-route across the atlantic could be viable, and thus set-off the exploration and colonization of the americas and made this part of the world what it is today, for better or worse.
to minimize his contribution and impact is disingenuous, as is to watch it with a biased modern eye. To characterize it as a net 'negative' contribution is plainly stupid, unless you want to denounce western civilization tout-court.

however i do think there should be a national holiday that celebrate Native Americans, just on a different day.
 
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Eraserhead

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We still have a statue celebrating the general who crushed the Indian Mutiny in Trafalgar Square which I think is pretty embarrassing to be honest.
 

bradl

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obviously other people were here first (duh), and he was looking for (and thought he found) the Indies, but it was his trips and drive that established that a Sea-route across the atlantic could be viable, and thus set-off the exploration and colonization of the americas and made this part of the world what it is today, for better or worse.
to minimize his contribution and impact is disingenuous, as is to watch it with a biased modern eye. To characterize it as a net 'negative' contribution is plainly stupid, unless you want to denounce western civilization tout-court.

however i do think there should be a national holiday that celebrate Native Americans, just on a different day.
*ahem* Leif Ericcson? Conquistadores?? Columbus, Pizarro, Cortes' colonization could be construed as genocide.

http://www.mit.edu/~thistle/v9/9.11/1columbus.html
http://www.nytimes.com/2011/09/25/books/review/columbus-the-four-voyages-by-laurence-bergreen-book-review.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0
http://www.dailykos.com/story/2013/10/12/1246553/-Columbus-and-The-Legacy-of-Genocide#
http://ux.brookdalecc.edu/fac/history/Tangents/ARTICLESFORTANGENTS/Columbus's Genocide.htm

In a lot of cases, I always would say that the good should always outweigh the bad, especially if such good carries the weight as it should. Plundering and wiping out races is hard to overcome, especially for the petty things he punished people for.

BL.
 

Ugg

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I think it's mean to blame all of the ills of the Americas on Columbus. His navigational error however, ensured that he would be forever famous.

I often wonder what the USA would look like today if Jefferson hadn't finagled a deal with France for the Louisiana Purchase, or if California hadn't conveniently become a state just before Sutter's discovery of gold.

The tragedy of the Americas is that there were no horses or cows. Native Americans' socio/political advancement changed by leaps and bounds once the horse was introduced. Further, it was a matter of an overpopulated continent with advanced technology (Europe) looking for Lebensraum (The Americas).

Columbus is only a symbol of, not the reason for the decline of Native Americans. One can no more blame Columbus for his mistake than one can blame the original Americans for their lack of immunity to smallpox.

I do applaud those who look to honor those who were here first. I also cry for those who died as a result of European disease and like the Irish after the Famine, admire those who were able to carry on.
 

jnpy!$4g3cwk

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But let's face it; Columbus did plunder, was cruel and violent to this part of the world, and to be honest, history is flat out wrong. He didn't discover America, and other people were here first.

So what is wrong with correcting history?
I agree with you. In an unusually cruel century, Columbus was considered a cruel tyrant by his contemporaries.
 

MacNut

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Does a city council even have grounds to change the name of a federal holiday within their borders? Sure it would just be done symbolically but what real purpose would it serve. I am not saying that it isn't a good idea but it seems kind of pointless.
 

Technarchy

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Seems kind of pointless.

Columbus Day is fine as is. The undertaking of getting to America from Europe in his day, even by accident, is utterly monumental. Took massive testicular fortitude, motivations notwithstanding.

Bet your dollar if a man thought he figured out a way to get to Mars and ended up on planet orbiting Vega and it had life and could sustain us, even if we went to war and killed every living thing that person would be remembered and commemorated for all time.
 
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bradl

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Seems kind of pointless.

Columbus Day is fine as is. The undertaking of getting to America from Europe in his day, even by accident, is utterly monumental. Took massive testicular fortitude, motivations notwithstanding.

Bet your dollar if a man thought he figured out a way to get to Mars and ended up on planet orbiting Vega and it had life and could sustain us, even if we went to war and killed every living thing that person would be remembered and commemorated for all time.
And those of the natives already here wasn't an undertaking enough? They walked across 3 different continents to get here.

Keep in mind that it was the natives that were here first that colonized this land, lived off this land, and respected this land long before Columbus even set sail. Also, keep in mind that his motivations were for wealth. Spices, gold, etc., from what he perceived to be India; that was his motivation.

I'll grant that sailing west instead of east, and against thinking at that time took guts. But deserving a holiday from the plunders, murders, and atrocities he committed is akin to giving the leaders of Rwanda during their genocide, or Milosevic a holiday for what he did in Bosnia. Others did Columbus' deed long before Columbus did.

BL.
 

ElectronGuru

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Further, it was a matter of an overpopulated continent with advanced technology (Europe) looking for Lebensraum (The Americas).
You mean people would create problems and rather than deal with the causes, would rather escape to a new place and create the same problems, with the same thinking, all over again?
 

Ugg

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You mean people would create problems and rather than deal with the causes, would rather escape to a new place and create the same problems, with the same thinking, all over again?
We should expect humans to behave otherwise?

I don't buy the whole "Noble Savage" aspect of pre Columbian Americans. Native Americans did the same things to their own neighbors and warfare was part and parcel of their game plan. As I pointed out, if they had had a horse, or more correctly, if they hadn't killed off the native American horse for food, their destiny might well have been different.

Why are we not crying for all the small ethnic European groups who were slowly annihilated and assimilated? Are they not deserving of our compassion? Why is it that only aboriginal inhabitants on other continents receive our pity? Is it because the European minorities were ultimately "European" that we ignore them?
 

thekev

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I can totally see companies deciding to cut off this day from corporate calendars and now they have an excuse that isn't "Screw you workers, work harder and take less days off."
I can't think of any school districts here that recognize it as a school holiday. Businesses seem a bit divided, but they aren't legally compelled to give their workers that day off. I also do not think that it's a high priority for others in terms of what days they would like to have off.
 

VulchR

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Thanksgiving doesn't stand up to much scrutiny either, but I like the modern meaning (simply giving thanks). Honestly, though, I'd rather have Arbor Day be fully recognised than Columbus Day.
 
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Don't panic

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*ahem* Leif Ericcson? Conquistadores?? Columbus, Pizarro, Cortes' colonization could be construed as genocide.

http://www.mit.edu/~thistle/v9/9.11/1columbus.html
http://www.nytimes.com/2011/09/25/books/review/columbus-the-four-voyages-by-laurence-bergreen-book-review.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0
http://www.dailykos.com/story/2013/10/12/1246553/-Columbus-and-The-Legacy-of-Genocide#
http://ux.brookdalecc.edu/fac/history/Tangents/ARTICLESFORTANGENTS/Columbus's Genocide.htm

In a lot of cases, I always would say that the good should always outweigh the bad, especially if such good carries the weight as it should. Plundering and wiping out races is hard to overcome, especially for the petty things he punished people for.

BL.
i already said other people got there earlier, including obviously all the migrations that established the native peoples.
Leif Ericcson got there, but his travels are just historically interesting and little more. He didn't establish a route across the atlantic, and it had zero impact on anyone's history, so you can put your *ahem* back in your pocket, or learn to read more carefully what others write.

conquistadores obviously came after columbus, as did all other who traveled West (vespucci, magellan, cabot, hudson, etc), who did it largely because of Columbus pioneering travels (and those who followed him). yes, a lot of bad came with the discovery and colonization of the americas, but that doesn't mean it is all Columbus's fault (although he certainly does have some direct responsibilities).
Collapsing the Pizarros and Cortes with Columbus is idiotic or you can also include any other military commander in the same group, from Alexander to Gengis Khan, although in a way they were all just products of their times. you can't apply 20th century sensibilities to cultures hundred of years before, as what is (or should be) horrific today, was norm for centuries and millennia.
besides, the 'genocide' in the americas was more a product of diseases they had not previously exposed to than anything else. Read 'guns, germs and steel' for a reference (and a great read)
if anything, the United States expansion westward, and the entire 'Pioneer era' is much more disturbing, as it correspond to a conscious decision toward genocide based on trickery, treason and mass-murder and fueled mostly by racism and greed.

the point however remains that columbus' first voyage, and the date he 'discovered america', was one of the very major milestones of western civilization, and of western society in the americas in particular, so unless you are prepared to throw away everything with it, and i mean literally everything, october 12 remains a date that defines "America".

as i said, i think the best solution would be a separate national holiday honoring the native american populations
 
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