I’m typing this letter up right on Columbus Day, which is the subject of this letter.
There has been a movement in recent years to rename Columbus Day as Indigenous People’s Day, given how Cristoforo Colombo mistreated the Western Hemisphere’s native population. I can understand Native Americans concerns in this matter, but I also recognize Italian-Americans and (to a certain extent) Hispanic-Americans concerns about this day (given how Hispanic-Americans have also celebrated their heritage on this day as well).
I suggest that we kind of split the difference in this matter by renaming Columbus Day as Italian-American/Hispanic-American Heritage Day; you can acknowledge the achievements that Italian-Americans and Hispanic-Americans have made to our society while not acknowledging Colombo’s misdeeds. In fact, Columbus Day was originally created in order to acknowledge Italian-Americans’ contributions to our nation. As a compromise, we could make June 25 as Indigenous People’s Day since it was on that day in 1876 that the Battle of the Little Bighorn – the greatest victory Native Americans had against federal forces – began.
I think this compromise would be satisfactory for all three ethnic groups since, in a way, each would be getting what they want in this situation. The ball is now in the court of the federal and state governments to follow up on this matter.
Peter Guerin, Hadley