Coronado Mayor, City Manager, City Council And Library Director - Coronado Eagle & Journal | Coronado News | Coronado Island News: Opinion

Coronado Mayor, City Manager, City Council And Library Director

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Posted: Wednesday, October 9, 2019 2:25 pm

Good Day,

To the leaders of Coronado city government and all citizens interested in social justice, I request that the City of Coronado stop observing Columbus Day. This so called “holiday” honors the beginning of the European genocide of indigenous people in the Americas and should not be observed by closing city offices and the public library. Recognition of this “holiday” shows a complete ignorance of history and a profound insensitivity towards indigenous people. Indeed, as leaders of Native American and other indigenous people’s groups have said, celebrating Columbus Day is the immoral equivalent of celebrating Hitler’s invasion of Czechoslovakia & Poland which began World War II and the wartime genocides that followed. And although some have tried to sanitize Columbus as the great explorer and separate him from the atrocities against indigenous people that followed, the facts clearly show that he was directly involved in the enslavement, torture and murder of native people throughout the Caribbean. And as if that wasn’t bad enough, the European invasion which started with Columbus also ushered in the beginning of the African slave trade throughout the Americas.

My wife who is Puerto Rican was shocked that any city respectful of human rights and cognizant of world history would still be observing a “holiday” to “honor” a man who was responsible for beginning the genocide of her native ancestors. And as a city employee I also find it embarrassing and shameful to work for an organization that perpetuates such a dishonorable tradition. As a very small measure of atonement I will donate my salary for this day to indigenous people’s organizations to help support their continuing struggles and to raise public awareness of their sacrifices.

While the city of Coronado has many good virtues which outweigh the bad, there is always room for improvement. Although none of us living today are responsible for the establishment of this reprehensible “holiday,” we are all in a position to take steps to try to eliminate it, or at the very least, voice our opposition to its continuation. I urge Coronado city leaders to take whatever steps you can to help end the shameful observation of Columbus Day. Many other California and US cities no longer observe Columbus Day and many have instead renamed the observance, Indigenous People’s Day. Please join with those who are moving out of the dark ages of historical mythology into a more enlightened, understanding and compassionate future.

Thank you

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