Step one: cleanse the skin?
Columbus Day was established as a U.S. federal holiday in 1937, sparking a controversy that’s lasted 80 years.
Critics of the day say there’s no reason to celebrate Christopher Columbus, a man whose legend is built on “discovering” a land where people already lived. Some have also called for the second Monday in October to focus more on Native Americans and their mistreatment by European colonists.
It’s a growing movement: Five U.S. states currently don’t recognize Columbus Day; many more cities have adopted Indigenous Peoples’ Day. Is it time for the nation as a whole to reconsider Columbus?
- Chrissie Castro Vice chairwoman, Los Angeles City-County Native American Indian Commission
- Kent Blansett Assistant professor, history and Native American studies, University of Nebraska Omaha
- Katsitsionni Fox Director, Title VI Program; Cultural Specialist at Salmon River Central School District in Fort Covington, NY
- Amber Richardson Communications associate, Center for Native American at the Aspen Institute
- Kevin Gover Director, National Museum of the American Indian
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Preet Bharara is the former U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York.