Target: Barack Obama, United States President
Goal: Respect indigenous peoples and end the recognition of Columbus Day as a holiday.
Native Americans suffered mistreatment, slavery, and disease due to Christopher Columbus and his men. It is disturbing to know that our nation’s capital recognizes Columbus Day as a holiday. If we continue to celebrate Columbus Day, we are ignoring the injustices that Native Americans endured. We must take action now to abolish this demeaning holiday.
When Columbus arrived in America, the explorer colonized and stole land from Native Americans. He discriminated, enslaved, and ignored the rights of these indigenous peoples. He silenced an entire population for his benefit. In the United States, the origin of Columbus Day also has an insidious beginning. It became a federal holiday in 1937 in large part to celebrate Italian-American culture as a response to violent nativism in the United States. If the capital of the United States continues to celebrate Columbus Day, it sends a message to Native Americans that the United States does not respect indigenous peoples.
Many Native American groups and allies have advocated for the eradication of the holiday or for it to have a different name. Many cities have already opted to use the name “Indigenous Peoples Day.” It is necessary for the nation’s capital to abolish or change the name of the holiday as a symbolic gesture of solidarity. Sign this petition to encourage President Barack Obama to abolish Columbus Day in Washington D.C. to show Native Americans that we respect their culture and recognize this mistreatment.
Dear President Barack Obama,
I am writing to you to ask that you abolish Columbus Day in Washington D.C. in favor of a holiday called “Indigenous Peoples Day.” Every year that we continue to celebrate Columbus Day, we ignore the injustices that Native Americans endured at the hands of Christopher Columbus. Native Americans are extremely marginalized in society and deserve to know that the nation and the President recognize the demeaning nature of this holiday.
Christopher Columbus encroached on the territory and way of life of indigenous peoples. He brought disease, enslaved innocent people, and completely ignored the rights of Native Americans. I believe that abolishing Columbus Day in Washington D.C. will be an effective first step in repairing the injustices suffered by Native Americans in this country. I am urging you to please end Columbus Day in our nation’s capital.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: Clearing the Fog Radio