In the culmination of an effort that’s been underway in Colorado since 2007, the legislature has voted to eliminate Columbus Day as a state holiday. The Governor is expected to sign the measure into law. Most of the time, when we see states contemplating a move like this, they are replacing the holiday with a new Indigenous People’s Day, honoring Native Americans. But Colorado has chosen to go in an entirely different direction. The new holiday on the first Monday in October will be called Mother Cabrini Day, honoring Frances Xavier Cabrini. Columbus Day will still be recognized as a federal holiday on the second Monday in October. (CBS Denver)
A bill to repeal and replace Columbus day here in Colorado is headed to the governor’s desk. If signed the holiday would become Mother Cabrini Day.
“This is a conversation that has been going on for about three decades, about how should we handle Columbus Day in Colorado?” Sen. Chris Hansen asked.
“There were many years of stakeholder engagement, lots of conversation with the Italian American community, the Native American tribes around the state around the region on how we can move forward,” he said.
So the state government has now voted to tick off the Italian-American community in Colorado. They might want to keep in mind the fact that those people all vote.
Not that Mother Cabrini isn’t a figure worth honoring. Frances Xavier Cabrini was responsible for the creation of dozens of schools, hospitals, and orphanages across the United States as well as in South and Central America. Her charitable works are legendary and shrines to her exist in multiple states, including Colorado. This also something of a historic moment because Mother Cabrini will be the first woman to have an official state holiday where government offices are closed anywhere in the country.
But with all of that said, it’s somewhat dishonest to say that Colorado is “replacing” Columbus Day with Mother Cabrini Day. What they’re really doing is just eliminating Columbus Day as a state holiday. As noted above, the new holiday will fall one week before Columbus Day. So why couldn’t they just keep both of them? Columbus Day will still be a federal holiday after the change.
The answer is that the Woke Brigade wanted it that way. Most would clearly have preferred an Indigenous People’s Day, but this was apparently viewed as some sort of compromise.
I understand some of the arguments against the original rationale for celebrating Columbus. He never really reached the shores of what is now the United States, though he came close. And archeological work over several decades has revealed that he was almost certainly not the first European to reach the new world. But the major complaints against Columbus from liberal agitators ring rather hollow.
Columbus didn’t invent slavery and the real interaction between he and his men and the indigenous people of the Americas was minuscule compared to the many conquistadors who followed. He didn’t engage in any significant warfare with the people he “discovered” either. In reality, Columbus didn’t do all that much beyond opening the door and making the rest of the world aware that there were resources over here to be exploited. He’s far more of a symbol than an important historical figure in that regard. But the left got their hooks into him quite a while ago so apparently he had to be taken down. And now, at least in Colorado, that goal has been achieved.