City hopes new signs will deter vandalism of Christopher Columbus statue

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In ways large and small, the country has begun to re-think the second Monday in October, wondering collectively whether a holiday devoted to Christopher Columbus reflects the country we are or want to become.

Columbus Day has been a federal holiday since the 1930s, but as of 2015, less than half of USA states had moved to give their employees a paid day off on the day.

In fact, Columbus, Ohio, has no real connection to the man himself.

The executive director of Tower Grove Park recently asked protesters ― white students, Black Lives Matter activists and urban Native professionals ― to make nonbinding recommendations about whether the statue should be removed from the park entirely or a plaque added to contextualize its history.

So, all federal offices and courts will be closed and only certain banks will be open today, on Monday.

Gov. Kim Reynolds declared Monday as Iowa's inaugural Indigenous Peoples Day, in recognition of Native Americans who have called the state home "since time immemorial". "Columbus Day is a relic of an outdated and oversimplified version of history", Somerville mayor Joe Curtatone wrote on Facebook.

Not everyone is happy about the switch. "Use this day to celebrate the entire culture, celebrate Italians and indigenous both".

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The issue has become something of a sore spot for Italian Americans, who will often point out that they were not treated particularly well themselves when they first started arriving in the US. And though NY isn't listed among cities and states that officially celebrate the latter, there is a 2018 Indigenous Peoples Day celebration planned for NYC.

But Cutatone says it's not the only way to celebrate. We honored the Italian explorer, coloring pictures of the ships Columbus captained to "discover" our homeland. "Yet the specifics of this holiday run so deep into human suffering that we need to shift our pride elsewhere", he said. It's important to remember that if you deposit a check into an ATM on Columbus Day, it may take until the next business day to process.

"This is terrific! It's bad enough the city is named after a genocidal racist maniac, but this is a step in the right direction".

After King contacted the mayor's office, Mayor John Hamilton chose to make a mayoral proclamation in support of Indigenous Peoples' Day, according to an email to King from Elizabeth Walter, executive assistant in the Office of the Mayor.

"There should never have been a Columbus Day because just like Hitler he tried to commit near genocide for the Indians", said Rita J Martinez, one of the organizers for the abolish Columbus Day group.

Enjoy some new poetry by indigenous women here.

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