By Chuck Taylor

The reverend, R. S. MacArthur, called Christopher Columbus “cruel, and guilty of many crimes.”

A complaint that sounds familiar to those who condemn the explorer for opening a door to European colonialism, which brought disease, destruction and catastrophic wars to the people who already lived here. But Mr. MacArthur said those words more than a century ago, in 1893.

More recently, a movement to abolish Columbus Day and replace it with Indigenous Peoples Day has gained momentum in some parts of the U.S. In August, Los Angeles became the largest city to decide to stop honoring the Italian explorer and instead recognize victims of colonialism.

Austin, Texas, followed suit last Thursday, joining San Francisco, Seattle and Denver, which had previously booted Columbus in favor of Indigenous Peoples Day.

 

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