As the Trump administration continues to push its antagonism of those who aren’t white, advocates across the country are continuing their own commitment to creative ways to fight the tide. This past Tuesday, New Mexico’s new Democratic Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham signed legislation that strikes Columbus Day from the list of official state holidays and replaces it with “Indigenous Peoples’ Day,” which will be observed at the same point in October as the conventional honor for the genocidal maniac Christopher Columbus.
The move drew wide praise as an important step towards acknowledging the place of those indigenous peoples and the treatment they’ve faced at the hands of white colonial expansion over the centuries.
Democratic state Rep. Derrick Lente, who’d helped introduce the original legislation, commented of Grisham’s signage:
‘Today, the ancestors are happy. The shift to Indigenous People’s Day sends a strong message to the descendants of the people who once were sought to be extinguished that there’s renewed appreciation for their resiliency and contribution to our great state. It is a time to reflect on our country’s history, both the good and the bad.’
Columbus Day has been renamed Indigenous Peoples Day in the state of New Mexico. pic.twitter.com/NPIeQwMu6a
— Ruth H. Hopkins (@RuthHHopkins) April 3, 2019
Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez added that the change in New Mexico “allows citizens to recognize our rich heritage and represents a step toward healing and growth.”
Lente is among the around 12 percent of New Mexicans of Native American heritage. The state is the fifth to completely abolish Columbus Day, which remains on the books as a federal holiday, but considering the rising tide of opposition, might have its days numbered. Other states that discarded Columbus Day in favor of an occasion to honor the indigenous peoples he sought to dominate include Minnesota, Alaska, Vermont, and South Dakota, who are joined by dozens of lower level jurisdictions across the United States.
The push has run concurrent to one to discard icons honoring the Confederacy maintained by the South during the Civil War in large part in defense of slavery, although it hasn’t attracted nearly as much high-profile opposition from people besides armchair proponents of the past. The infamous 2017 Charlottesville riots were sparked by a large gathering of white supremacists who specifically meant to protest the planned removal of a statue of Confederate military leader Robert E. Lee. Elsewhere, further harsh protests against planned icon disposals have popped up, even including angry public commentary from President Donald Trump about the supposed need to preserve American history or whatever above the agenda of the supposedly radical left.
That rhetoric fits into a clear broader picture of continued efforts to harass immigrants specifically of a Latin American extraction. In recent days, he’s threatened to completely close the United States’ southern border in the face of a surge of asylum seekers, which would jeopardize billions and billions of dollars in trade, which the president has bluntly asserted isn’t as important as “security.”
There remains no tangible, documented basis for his repeated claims that the targeted immigrants pose some kind of special criminal threat to the United States, no matter how many times he repeats it There’s just his racism.
Featured Image via screenshot