According to the Boston news: “Boston officially recognizes Indigenous Peoples Day, replacing Columbus Day after Kim Janey signed executive order.”
Acting Mayor Kim Janey signed an executive order on Wednesday establishing Indigenous Peoples Day as the official holiday on the second Monday in October in Boston, replacing Columbus Day.
Nearly a century ago, the Ku Klux Klan targeted Catholics including Italian-Americans. One of the Klan’s tactics was the denigration of Christopher Columbus and the attempted suppression of the holiday.
There has been a push to paint Christopher Columbus in a bad light. This is certainly worth considering but shouldn’t we look to historical experts to determine if this is accurate?
Carol Delaney of Providence is professor emerita at Stanford University and has written articles and books shedding light on the real Christopher Columbus. While she has no problem supporting Indigenous Peoples Day, she argues against removing Columbus Day for good reasons.
In her book, “Columbus and the quest for Jerusalem,” she talks about how many people don’t know much about Columbus.
Through her research, she explains how Columbus had a favorable impression of many of the Native Americans he met. He also instructed his commanders not to abuse but instead to trade with them. She reports that at one point, Columbus hung his own men who committed crimes against the Indians.
She took his writings, documents from those who knew him and reported that he seemed like he was on the side of the Indians.
Critics tend to refer to Francisco Bobadilla, Christopher Columbus’s chief political rival. Columbus spent many years defending and refuting Bobadilla’s accounts of him. Even a defender of the indigenous people, Bartolome de Las Casas, admired Columbus and expressed this in his “History of the Indies.”
In the 1920s the Ku Klux Klan engaged in an assault on Italians and Catholics. The KKK opposed both Christopher Columbus and the holiday established in his honor. That’s why the Knights of Columbus, a Catholic service organization, took on a fight in Colorado when there was a legislative attempt to eliminate Colorado’s observance of Columbus Day.
“The Knights say the notoriously anti-black, anti-immigrant and anti-Catholic Ku Klux Klan, which once held considerable sway in Colorado among many other states, started the drive to dethrone Columbus a century ago.”
The Colorado legislation was supported by Democrats.
In a statement issued today by national Knights of Columbus spokesman Isaac Cuevas, the organization calls on Colorado state lawmakers not to advance the “Klan plan.”
So why are so many politicians and activists fighting on behalf of the KKK to eliminate the holiday? Maybe they have no idea that they are working on behalf of the KKK to fulfill their bigoted agenda?
…attacks on Columbus and Columbus Day were originated by the very group that has historically led racist attacks on blacks. These attacks were created in the 1920s by the Ku Klux Klan as part of a targeted assault on Italians, Catholics, and the Catholic charitable group the Knights of Columbus.
We must not forget that, in addition to African Americans, the Klan hated Catholics and Jews as well. And they had a particular hatred for the Knights of Columbus. Not only was this a Catholic group, but it was a group that stood publicly – at its highest levels – with the African American community.