The fact that today’s federal holiday is still dedicated to Christopher Columbus is highlighting the ongoing divide created by the legacy of the explorer.
On one side are those who view Columbus as a representative of Italian American history while the other has those horrified by an annual tribute that ignores the native people whose lives and culture were forever changed by colonialism.
Communities across the U.S. took a deeper look at Columbus’ legacy in recent years – pairing or replacing it with Indigenous Peoples Day.
On Friday, President Joe Biden issued the first presidential proclamation of Indigenous Peoples Day, but that wasn’t enough for some activists.
They complained that efforts to end a formal holiday in Columbus’ name remain stalled by politicians and organizations focusing on Italian American heritage.