- By Levi Rickert
WASHINGTON — In a proclamation to commemorate Christopher Columbus, President Donald Trump on Friday denounced “extremists” who seek to replace the discussion of Columbus’ vast contributions. The president’s proclamation was made in advance of Columbus Day, which is a national holiday to be commemorated on Monday, Oct. 12.
“Sadly, in recent years, radical activists have sought to undermine Christopher Columbus’s legacy,” Trump said in the proclamation. “These extremists seek to replace discussion of his vast contributions with talk of failings, his discoveries with atrocities, and his achievements with transgressions.”
Many American Indians have sought for decades to change the Columbus Day name to Indigenous Peoples Day. American Indians see little value in honoring a man who they see as a greedy murderer who got lost and thought he was in India when he landed in the Americas.
In the aftermath of George Flyod's murder in Minneapolis. Christopher Columbus statues were toppled in several cities in the United States, including in the plaza outside the Minnesota State Capitol in St. Paul. Minn.
Trump, on the other hand, in early September 2020 signed an executive order to establish a commission to promote “patriotic education” to American school children.
“Together, we must safeguard our history and stop this new wave of iconoclasm by standing against those who spread hate and division,” Trump declared.
Trump’s proclamation echoes the tone he used during the presidential debate on Sept. 29. that denounced diversity training. He uses the same rhetoric during his rallies to energize his faithful. Trump said about diversity training programs programs “are grounded in the same type of revisionist history that is trying to erase Christopher Columbus from our national heritage.”
In the meantime, American Indians will celebrate Indigenous Peoples Day on Monday concentrating on the vast contributions of tribal peoples across the United States.
Support Independent Indigenous Journalism
Native News Online is an independent, Indigenous-led newsroom with a crucial mission: We want to change the narrative about Indian Country. We do this by producing intelligent, fact-based journalism that tells the full story from all corners of Indian Country. We pride ourselves on covering the tribes you may have never heard of before and by respecting and listening to the communities we serve through our reporting. As newsrooms across the country continue to shrink, coverage of Indian Country is more important than ever, and we are committed to filling this ever-present hole in journalism.
Because we believe everyone in Indian Country deserves equal access to news and commentary pertaining to them, their relatives and their communities, the story you’ve just finished was free — and we want to keep it that way, for all readers. But we hope it inspires you to make a gift to Native News Online so that we can continue publishing more stories that make a difference to Native people, whether they live on or off the reservation. Your donation will help us keep producing quality journalism and elevating Indigenous voices. Any contribution of any amount, big or small, gives us a better, stronger future and allows us to remain a force for change. Donate to Native News Online today and support independent Indigenous journalism. Thank you.