Letter: Stop and think before eliminating Columbus Day
Apparently some people in our community think it’s a good idea to change Columbus Day to “Indigenous People’s Day.” It seems Christopher Columbus is a repulsive character in the minds of some Bemidji citizens and therefore they would like to replace him with something that, they feel, is more politically sensitive and pleasing.
The point of Columbus Day, of course, is to commemorate the discovery, or the meetings, of two worlds or cultures. Certainly, and unfortunately, the conquest that ensued was neither pleasant nor just, for native people. However, if we are going to evaluate our historical milestones based upon the behavior and etiquette of the individuals involved, then we have a lot of work to do in changing names and labels.
Henry Ford and Charles Lindbergh, for example, each contributed significantly to the world, yet both men publically expressed anti-Semitic views.
Given this, should we rename Ford automobiles “Jews?” The “Jewish Motor Company?” Or change Lindbergh Terminal at Minneapolis Airport to “Jewish Terminal?”
Does this make sense?
Evidently it does to some folks.
Or what about a high-minded individual like Martin Luther King, who, in spite of his noble works, was known as a serial adulterer?
Considering this, should we change the name of the holiday to, “Martin Luther Girlfriend Day?” Would this help us to create a dialogue and better understand all the used, disenfranchised and ditched wives in America?
What about Presidents Day? Notables such as Washington and Jackson were both military officers who led troops in combat that killed Indians. Jackson even seized property for himself — as his own personal booty — while killing and removing Indians from their lands.
Do we really want people like this on our currency?
Or what about God Himself? Why didn’t He allow women to write the Bible? Should we rename the religion, or eliminate it, because some people may argue that God was (is) a sexist?
Sensitivity is a fine attribute. However, politically, it is easy to become intoxicated with it to the point where the original intent of something becomes blurred or lost.
On the issue of Columbus Day, hopefully the seven representatives in our city circle will maintain political sobriety and think things through before they leap.