San Diego's historically Italian neighborhood (nearly destroyed by having Interstate 5 punched through it in the early 1970s and now strongly revitalized) has for years celebrated Festa! on the Sunday closest to Columbus Day, with nary a mention of Columbus:…
I nominate a Giordano Bruno day. December 26 would be a good day.
Indigenous Peoples Day is a really dumb name for a holiday.
".we should celebrate an Italian Heritage Day to celebrate the culture of the Italian community and also to celebrate the wonderful, courageous work that Italian Americans have done in their fight against racism, in their leading work in the early labor movements of the United States and the work they’re doing today as social justice activists."

Is Sawant Brownsplaining?
A great compromise would be to call it Victimhood Day, then everyone could vent and celebrate their disenfranchisement together.
Fine then, we'll call it Mussolini Day instead.
It's because not so long ago, all any of the 2nd wave European immigrants (Italian, Irish, Polish, Russian, Slovak, German) etc. had were these holidays, and they were in real ways a measure of clout one might have at their city hall.

In Chicago, the city I have most experience with, every ethnic group gets a holiday and they are a bigger deal than one might think simply because of this. It's a sign of clout in the city. Cermak was the "Polish" mayor, then Daley, etc. African Americans have Bud Billiken day, and Harold Washington was the AA mayor, but that's another discussion.

I think folks on the West Coast especially sometimes forget how precarious most of the economic and political gains of the second wave of immigrants to the USA really are. In a certain sense, I believe that they sense (rightly) that the world is turning against them. And then, the marginalized groups, in this instance native peoples, turn not in solidarity to them, but to the politically correct elite, who benefit from conflict between these groups who are more often than not economically aligned.
If your heritage can only be honored by remembering a genocidal maniac, then maybe your heritage isn't worth honoring.
Corvallis has an entire summer Fest called DaVinci Days - celebrating art, science and music. It is really cool, Paul. You should check it out next year and celebrate Leonardo.
is st. paddy's day next? he oppressed druid beliefs.

not quite the same as a genocide though...

Let's celebrate what it is and always will be, Canadian Thanksgiving! ;-)
Leonardo da Vinci.

Italo Calvino.

Dante Aligheri

Diane di Prima

Gregory Corso.

Lawrence Ferlinghetti.

Luciano Pavarotti.

Maria Montessori.

Antonia Vivaldi.

Primo Levi.

Guiseppe Verdi.

Federico Fellini.

Roberto Rosselini.

Giordano Bruno!

"The City of the Sun is coming! I hear it! I smell it!

here, where they have made even the earth a jailer

where not even the shadows of animals sneak over the land

where children are injured & taught to apologize for their scars

the City of the Sun cannot be far now --"

(Diane di Prima/Minnesota Morning Ode: for Giordano Bruno / Selected Poems)
you really don't understand? then you're fucking Dumb. WILLFULLY DUMB.

here, let me break it down: on a day normally reserved for celebrating one group, you took it away and now that day celebrates another group. INSTEAD of creating a new, "Indigenous Peoples Day," you opted to shit on someone else's heritage in order to promote yours.

that's equally as racist and annoying.

we honor Columbus for the impact he made, particularly proving that there was land here that could be settled and eventually become the united states. we should continue to do so.

this is like changing "Washington's Birthday" to "Slave Remembrance Day" because the president this state is named after actually broke federal laws by shifting his slaves to and from the white house in order to not have to free them.

is that shitty? yes. does it negate the impact he made otherwise? no. let's treat columbus the same and discuss the FULL impact of his landing, but to simply toss him aside in favor of "We are sooooooooooooo sorry" day is mean-spirited passive aggressive anti-liberal bullshit and pretending otherwise makes you a Willfully Dumb Liar.

When have Italian Americans had any political clout in Seattle or in any major city on the West Coast? Are you also going to get in a snit over black Baptists not having any influence over the Seattle City Council?

I mean, FFS, the dysfunction of old school East Coast politics is one of the reasons why Americans moved West decades ago.
@12 all those people are great but we should choose a figure with a more direct connection to the US if we want to replace a federal holiday. Enrico Fermi springs to mind as an Italian-American who dramatically impacted the course of human history.
Christopher Columbus was indefensibly a horrible person who was responsible for the deaths of literally hundreds of thousands if not millions. No holiday for him.
He chopped off the hands of Indians who didn't bring him enough gold, for Christ's sake! He sold nine-year old girls into sexual slavery! Indefensible, even by the standards of the time.
I'm all for this, but again, why don't you just turn over Slog to Kshama Sawant and let her post directly, eliminate the need for you guys to serve as her stenographer?
Whatever you call it, it's a stupid "holiday" that no one actually gets (as far as not having to work) apart from postal workers and government pen pushers. They don't even use it as a mattresses-selling holiday. Get rid of it, give it to no one. It's an anachronism and it's pointless.
The problem with suggesting that we celebrate Italian American Heritage day is that the logical day for that would be Columbus Day since that's when the Italian American Heritage parades and other events are already held.

Changing Columbus Day to Italian American Heritage Day would have made the name of the holiday P.C. without really affecting anyone. Changing it to Indigenous People's Day is provocative.

We can change St. Patrick's Day to Irish American Heritage Day without too much conflict, but changing it to Snake Appreciation Day might be seen as a dig.
The name sucks. We are talking about Native Americans. Not 'indigenous people' or 'igneous rocks'. Come on, get a clue as to how to name a frickin' day.
I have an Italian background, and I think these people need to calm the fuck down. Plus, who wants to be represented by a colossal douche like Columbus?
What are we celebrating here? Cheap Firewater and heap big tobacco?
I'm celebrating it with a bottle of Ripple.
fuck Columbus, and fuck Il Corvo.
I for one am delighted that Mayor Ed Murray has given us a special day to celebrate the conquest of our indigenous peoples.
Let me just quietly murmur that I suggested this very thing in an earlier post this week, and everyone was like "Oh hush, Catalina. Go clean your linen closet" (which I did)
Indigenous peoples? You mean Siberian-Americans?

Early immigrants are still immigrants. Even pre-historic ones.
I'm going to miss that pasta and pizza.
riiight columbus was horrible felon in opening up the americas to white european exploitation and conquest. And we here enjoying the fruit of that, living here in north america, conquered by those who followed columbus, so to speak, are NOT going to give back the land to native americans. but we will bash columbus as if every single group in history wasn't just as bad within their power to aggress, torture, enslave, etc. Including, duh, Native Americans of all kinds. Who would have expanded even more had they ships and guns and horses -- it was kinda luck they didn't and the eurowhites from one little corner of the world did. All were equally evil and bad -- some just had more power to do bad. But we here today? If you're not for giving back the land, the "empathy" this holiday exists to demonstrate is a bit shallow, and cheap.

It's like mascoting native americans. And hey, if they adapted to europeans by allying with some, fighting others, uniting with some to fight their enemy tribe over there, switching sides, attacking and killing whites from time to time in waves, well then. it was a fucking war and one side won it. To think the whites were morally worse is rather naive. You really can't read up on history and conclude any one group is morally worse -- some just more powerful than others from time to time. Indigenous comanche aggressed other tribes. Indigenous people from morroco took thousands of spanish chistians slaves. indigenous norwegians enslaved 30,000 irish girls. indigenous english occupied wales, ireland, then parts of north america. indigenous black people sold others into slavery for money and the black enslaving families are often the leading families of some nations over on the west side of africa today. we're all indigenous and we all aggressed to the limit of our abilities. Maybe the English should have indigenous Celtic day to "empathize" with the people they pushed out, then the danes can have indigenous english day to "empathize" with the anglo saxons they conquered in england, then the norman vikings turned french can celebrate indigenous english day to show empathy for who they conquered, etc. the fucking iroquois should have indigenous potomac day whatever, to show empathy for the folks they conquered. all this empathy, and NO ONE IS INTENDING TO GIVE BACK ANY OF THE LAND. what a cheap moralist stunt.
@29: Figures that a socialist would have a Lenin closet.
I don't think these opponents of Indigenous Peoples Day are bad people, but I do think they're demonstrating a lack of empathy and a fear of change that will eventually look thoughtless to future generations.

They already look pretty thoughtless today.
"Indigenous People's Day" is a stupid name that invites ridicule. I'm guessing about a tenth of the US population knows what "indigenous"means, and Native Americans deserve better than to be mocked over a holiday intended to honor them. "First Peoples" is used in Canada and would be a better choice.

Columbus has plenty of statues. He doesn't need a holiday.

P.S. to 13: Washington is the only founder who actually carried thru on freeing his slaves. The Virginia laws of the time made it tough to do. Each slave had to be given $1000 and had one year to leave the state or be re-enslaved. Since there were over 300 slaves at Mount Vernon at the time of Washington's death, this pretty much was tantamount to liquidating the estate. (And some of these people were dowry slaves who weren't Washington's property to free in any case.)
If you start with Columbus day, why don't you just unravel the whole thread? You're a bunch of phonies if you just stop with Columbus Day. If you do, it just shows your true anti-Italian American sentiment. Stand by your principles and get rid of all these holidays too:

(1) Thanksgiving should be CANCELED - white Europeans butchered those native peoples after they learned how to survive from them. The pilgrims were murderers. If you celebrate this holiday, it shows you support this kind of butchering & you are a hypocrite.

(2) 4th of July should be CANCELED - our venerated founding fathers were all slave-owning, misogynist anti-equality hypocrites. They were probably anti-gay marriage too and saw homosexuality as a perversion. Get rid of it!

(3) Presidents' Day? CANCELED - Washington, Lincoln, etc - same as #2, how the hell can we celebrate these bigoted, racist, homophobic, anti-equality motherfuckers? You seriously support these bigots? End it NOW.

Fuck it - no holidays for anyone, we should just work all the time. Or just celebrate no one but "the indigenous"... for just staying in one place. Good on them. For staying where they were born. Celebrate! Of course… Seattle wouldn't exist if it weren't for all those manifest destiny white people plowing thru the nation. Ya know, all your ancestors. None of your redneck, Oregon-trail asses would be comfortably sipping lattes in a coffee shop right now if it weren't for them. Huh, you kinda forget this though.
@ 37, ALL the founding fathers? How does someone from Philly fuck that up?
Oh now Raindrip. Just because you're one of those unfortunates who gets by with one set of sheets and one set of towels, that's no reason to attack those of us with spare linens.
Im an Italian-American and I could not give less of a shit about this. But in an effort to be fair to those that actually do care, they should have changed Columbus Day to DaVinci/Fermi/Louis Prima/Rocky Balboa/whoever Day. Then they can change Thanksgiving or some other made up nonsense to Indigenous Peoples Day.
What the hell is wrong with Secondo di Giurno? Second of June.

(or as Italians call it Festa della Repubblica)
(Giugno, Paddy.)
@41, just saw this on Twitter:

Best way to learn Italian? Read @fakedansavage's columns in Italian. Oh the words you'll discover...

— Jessica Hullinger (@JessHullinger) October 14, 2014

Oh look everybody, Raindrip attempted to make teh funny!

Also, @12/16/40, why no love for Nikola Tesla - now there's an Italian I could get into celebrating, especially if it's accompanied by high-voltage discharge entertainment!
How 'bout this?

Explain to me what influence the Sioux for example had on world history. The Cherokee? Any tribal group at all predating Columbus?

Two things are true, whatever historical revisionism suggests otherwise. The intense depopulation of the Americas following exposure to Europeans was neither intentional or at the time avoidable. Disease, not genocide, killed off the people here.

And for better or worse the Americas were going to be discovered and treated to the same kind of behavior Europeans visited on everyone they deemed less civilized than them.

Native Americans lost. We won. End of story.
@45: I knew we could count on you to elevate the level of discourse!

I'll set even a lower standard for making Indigenous Peoples Day anything but a PC run amok bit of stupidity.

Tell me how any Pre-Columbian culture made notable contributions to who and what Americans are.

Nothing? Nada? Well, what do you know!
Clovis Pointi: Now there's a real payzon!
@ 45, Who Would Jesus Massacre?

BTW, given that you lost the battle for marriage equality, that's extra hilarious.
@21- What parades and celebrations? The ones in Spain? Seriously, they have Columbus Day in Spain and not in Italy. In Boston the big Italian holiday is some saint's feast day. They carry an icon around.

@47- The greatest feat of bio engineering in human history is the creation of maize. No go fuck yourself with a cleaver you dishonest, hateful piece of shit. Some other library patron needs that computer.
Glad to see the city council addressing such important issues. I wonder what real problems could get solved if they weren't creating issues to fix?
@ 50 FTW. Didn't know SB was such the white supremacist (his alleged African American wife notwithstanding) that he believed Europeans settled here and did everything themselves without indigenous help. Never mind maize.
@45, 47: "Explain to me what influence the Sioux for example had on world history. The Cherokee? Any tribal group at all predating Columbus?"

Really? Your arrogance is matched only by your ignorance. Try these on for size:

If the Navajo hadn't been there to speak their language, we might all be speaking German or Japanese today. Show the Navajo Code Talkers some respect, you racist cunt. For that matter, one of the six Marines who raised the Stars and Stripes over Iwo Jima, Ira Hayes, was a Pima Native American.
Also, a certain young lady of the Shoshone peoples was largely responsible for the success of an American mission to reach the Pacific Ocean by land, such that she is today honored with currency bearing her visage. Countless other Native American guides, trailblazers, and interpreters were integral to the mapping and exploration of what is today the United States.
The Iroquois nations were significant in the origins of the USA. They were key British Colonial allies in the French and Indian Wars (with their allegiance somewhat divided during the American Revolution). The federalized structure of the Iroquois League/Iroquois Confederacy was much admired by several of the Founding Fathers and may have inspired our own system of government. That's the CONSTITUTION we're talking about.

If you're looking for pre-Columbian influence on American culture, you need look no further than the American Southwest, where we've benefited from cultural exchange with modern-day Mexico, a nation that keeps in such close touch with its Aztec heritage that the Aztec origin myth is present on the nation's flag. For good measure, the Mayans and/or Olmecs discovered the delightful plant known to science as Theobroma cacao; chew on THAT.
As for scientific advancement, the indigenous peoples of the Southwest, such as the Tohono O'odham, developed drought-resistant strains of food crops such as beans, corn, melons, and squash that would grow in their arid homelands. These traditional crops have proven invaluable in the search for better and more resilient cultivars capable of making use of marginal land. Other Native American peoples were, unsurprisingly, early proponents of environmentalism as they saw their way of life destroyed by overhunting and overlogging.

Any further questions?
@53 Ainu you knew

who do voodoo

ragga regatta

don rocka the bota
I read some unhinged rant on a conservative blog that claimed Seattle has 250,000 people of Italian descent. That's gotta be a typo, right?
@45, 47:

@37: Fuck it - no holidays for anyone, we should just work all the time.


No, all employers should transition to floating holidays. Give each employee a set number of days on January 1, to be used by December 31, to celebrate whatever holiday they see fit. Given the diversity of ethnic and religious groups in the US, its the only logical option. I can see a plethora of holidays being suggested for various groups in the future (such as those for Islam, Wicca, Web-Footed Albinos from Albania) to the point there are so many its laughable.

Then, maybe banks, the post office, etc...would have enough staffing to be open for at least a few hours on days we normally expect them to be closed.
@47: Native American tribes were electing their leaders when Europeans were still doing the Royalty thing. What do you have against Democracy, Seattle Blues?
Yet another stupid attempt by Seattle at trying to be as hip and trendy as the hipsters and yuppies that reside. Glad I will be enjoying Columbus day like the rest of the U.S. while the hipsters celebrate their own made up holiday.
oh gosh - SB as someone with a wife who is both black and chinese you sure are intolerant and ignorant of non-whites.

thankfully venomlash is here to explain to you how science and language moves through centuries and influences and educates what we do today.

also, since you don't actually live in seattle maybe you can change your moniker to something more fitting. Rural Whites sounds good.
@ 59, you mean you will be enjoying it next year? Because it was yesterday.
I think our dear Seattleblahs is actually quite young. His bravado, naive worldview, and somewhat simple writing style gives him away.

It's probably just as well that he get all of this out of his system here in the bosom of Slog before the mantle of adulthood hangs too heavy on his shoulders.

"I think the achievements of modern America vastly exceed anything native people have done or would have done had we not killed most of them."?

Uh, did you REALIZE you wrote that?

" It's hard to imagine the Navajo or the Aztecs putting satellites in orbit or sequencing the human genome."

Because you find it hard to imagine non-European people doing anything important?

You've revealed some deeply unpleasant things about the inner workings of your mind, Mr. Mehlman. My deepest condolences on your having to be you.
BTW, is this the place to point out that nobody actually knows for sure what Columbus' national identity was(in his day, there was no such thing as an "Italian"...he was born in Cadiz, Spain...and spent a lot of time hanging out in Portugal).

There are so many amazing people(some listed above)that Italian-Americans COULD celebrate. Why would they go to the mat to defend a holiday for a bloodsoaked imperial berserker who was probably Iberian rather than Italian?
How about "Galileo Day"?
@ 62, surely you've encountered middle aged or older people who never matured beyond the teenage level.
@ 67, "advanced civilization" is a culturally relative term. Our "advances" are causing the average global temperatures to rise precipitously and could well result in a mass extinction. Not very civilized when viewed that way.

All right. We should all move into longhouses, or adopt migratory patterns. We should stop using electricity, synthetic fabrics, steel tools. Basically we should all live as pre Columbian tribal people did. But you first, okay buddy?

Earning the sobriquet Mile High a bit earlier than usual this morning, aren't you?


"We" didn't kill a single person. Well, at least I didn't. Nor did "we" in a historical sense engage in genocide systematically. Some estimates range as high as 93% death rates post European contact, conservative ones still accept 75% provisionally. Numbers here are Ricky, since there's no way to know certainly what pre contact population numbers were. But here's the thing. Most of those deaths were from disease. Sp unless accidentally spreading disease is murder, "we" didn't "kill most of them."

Umm. But hey, at least you're acknowledging your problem. Maybe there's hope for you yet!
@70 Those diseases brought by a bunch of filthy, disgusting savages that had no concept of gratitude who happily burned their gracious hosts at the stake for not believing in their made up sky god. or as you call it " advanced civilization"
@67- If you actually read Guns, Germs and Steel you might have noticed that the Central and South American empires fulfilled every definition of an "advanced civilization" without draft animals or iron. It's actually really easy to imagine them building space ships if the

Colombian Exchange had been conducted as an exchange instead of a rape.

It is easy to imagine unless you're blinded by a smug, casual racism.
@70: "'We' didn't kill a single person. Well, at least I didn't. Nor did 'we' in a historical sense engage in genocide systematically."
Dude, have you HEARD of the Trail of Tears? Or what happened to the Taino at the hands of Columbus and his men? There's stuff in the history of European exploitation of the Americas that was basically the Holocaust minus the gas chambers.

I notice you don't have anything to say about what pre-Columbian peoples did for America's growth and advancement. Care to admit for once that you're wrong?

Oh. Well, than let's talk about how all those things happened in the Americas. Before Europeans set foot here. Slavery? Check. Vicious warfare? Check. Another tribe treated as less than human. Check, check, check.

See, like it or not we can be grateful for living in more humane and settled times without lying about the past. And we can be grateful without feeling pointlessly guilty about the behavior of people.who lived centuries ago.

If we're sane, rather than liberal we can at least.

Wrong? Nope. Vague statements of 'this group may have influenced modern American society' while intriguing speculation, aren't history. People hiring out as guides to European explorers, or American, speak go those hiring them. My carpenters are great guys. Love their work. But without me obtaining and directing the work they'd be sitting ay home. And native guides pointing out paths are infinitely less important than the impetus to explore which hired them. Modern (ww2 and on) American citizens acting as American citizens don't speak to their Pre-Columbian culture. They speak to their American culture.
But hey, keep beating the
SB, you're so cute when you fearfully reject what you recognize to be true about yourself. Serve yourself an extra scoop of ice cream tonight!
@76: Top kek.

You said that pre-Columbian peoples in the Americas didn't do anything useful, anything significant to our history, so I corrected you. Now you're walking that back, saying basically:

"Oh, this historically-significant stuff they did doesn't count! European Americans were involved with it too!"

If you want to know what historically-significant stuff Native Americans did that didn't involve Europeans, you might consider the thousands of years of history between pre-Columbian peoples. They have their own history, full of migrations and alliances and vendettas; history doesn't only happen when white people are around to write it down.

It's also super-cute that you're JUSTIFYING colonial persecution of Native Americans by pointing out slavery et cetera in their history. If we brought such civilized customs to the continent, you'd think we as a nation would have been able to resist the urge to war against a tribe, pressure them into a disadvantageous treaty, and then violate the terms of the treaty anyway. It's on par with the antebellum attitude of "those poor Negroes should be thankful that we're taking them here to Christianize them".

Top fucking kek.
Let's call it "Kennewick Man Day" and make everyone apologize to him.
Despite the name, in practice Columbus Day is a celebration for the Italian American community, sort of like a St. Paddy's day in orange white and green. At the end of the day, Columbus didn't exterminate the natives in the US of A, it was the AMERICANS and the British before them. Italian Americans are being slighted for the sins of others, for a crime that was by and large completed by the time they got to this country in time to be lynched, beat and exploited to help build this countries industrial heartland. Columbus was chosen because he was the only Italian at the time that American's would not spit at.

If you want to give us an "Italian American Heritage day," put up or shut up. It would be easy enough to put Indigenous People's Day on any other free day of the year without fucking the Italians, wouldn't it? All this focus on pre Columbian civilization and culture kind of obscures the fact that it was damn greasy Italians and Spaniards that killed all the American Indians, but good old Brits and Yankees out killing the "heathens."

This entire country is built on genocide. At least give the Italians their holiday without the farcical "closing the barn door after the horses have bolted" that this Indigenous People Holiday represents. Have another federal holiday, it isn't like the American Worker couldn't use another day off, we have the least paid vacation day in the industrialized world FFS.
@44, Nikola Tesla was not Italian. He was born to Serbian parents in what is now Croatia. The "k" in his first name is a hint that he might not be from the Boot.

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