The Washington, D.C. Council gave the green light to covert the name Columbus Day to Indigenous Peoples’ Day.
On Tuesday, the “Indigenous Peoples’ Day Emergency Declaration Act of 2019” was passed paying homage to the indigenous civilizations in America who were here long before Columbus.
The truth is Columbus “enslaved, colonized, mutilated and massacred thousands of indigenous peoples,” Councilman David Grosso told lawmakers, WTOP-FM reports. Grosso said the passing of the legislation was long overdue, especially in an area that still disrespects indigenous people, as he referenced the Washington Redskins.
To take effect, Mayor Muriel Bowser needs to sign off on it or Columbus Day would remain.
A segment on the HBO comedy show, Last Week Tonight with John Oliver summed up the situation perfectly: “Columbus became famous for his discoveries, specifically the discovery that you can discover a continent with millions of people already living on it.”
“What they tend not to learn are the parts of Columbus’ life where he kidnapped native Americans and sold them into slavery, had his men slash them to pieces and through disease and warfare killed roughly half the population of Haiti,” said the narrator in the John Oliver segment.
“But in fairness, none of that rhymes with, ‘In fourteen hundred and ninety-two.’”