Some might call it controversial, but Oberlin’s City Council was all on board to replace Columbus Day with Indigenous Peoples Day. Many agree that the issue wasn’t even about the name, the issue going on for months.
Oberlin’s City Council was united on their feelings, but those in attendence had mixed views on the decision. Some of those present applauded the vote.
“I would love to be able to go to school on Wednesday and tell my friends that there is not a mass murder being celebrated in our fine city.” A student in junior high reportedly said at the meeting.
Italian Americans believe the vote was an insult to their ancestry. One citizen believes that Columbus Day is a celebration of Italian American pride.
“To treat us with contempt, leads us to believe that the Oberlin City Council is subjecting the Italian American community to a very subtle form of bigotry,” Cleveland Columbus Day Parade Chairman Basil Russo said in a statement.
“If they had a holiday celebrating Italian people, I’d be the first one there, but I’m not going to celebrate a murderer, a rapist, the first transatlantic slave trader,” Three Eagle Cloud, a Taino Indian whose ancestors suffered under Columbus, said.
Oberlin is the first township in Ohio to replace Columbus Day with Indigenous Peoples Day, but not the first in the country. Apparently the trend is upward on this new switch-over.