Trump Dismisses Indigenous Peoples Day, Praises Columbus

By: Lisa McCray | October 16, 2019

There is a growing trend to change Oct. 14, the day traditionally recognized in the United States as Columbus Day, to Indigenous Peoples Day. Today, President Donald Trump said that he’s not on board.

“We pay tribute to the Italian explorer who led a voyage of discovery to the new world, a gentleman known as Christopher Columbus,” Trump said Wednesday, during remarks at the White House with Italian President Sergio Mattarella. “And to me it will always be called Columbus Day. Some people don’t like that. I do.” Various reporters tweeted about the President’s comments.

Historians have pointed out that Columbus did not actually discover America and in fact was responsible for murdering indigenous people.

In recent years, some Americans and historians have sought to highlight and repair historical fallacies, and that has included debates over honoring the Italian explorer and over the fates of Confederate monuments.

This week, Wisconsin became the 12th state to recognize Indigenous Peoples Day. Last week, lawmakers in Washington, D.C. passed “Indigenous Peoples’ Day Emergency Declaration Act of 2019.”

On Monday, statues of Columbus were vandalized in various parts of the country. In Baltimore, someone draped a pair of bloody hands over a statue of the explorer and in Providence, Rhode Island, someone placed a sign that read “Stop celebrating genocide,” at the foot of a statue there.

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