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Seattle Times letters to the editor

October 6, 2014 at 4:49 PM

Indigenous Peoples’ Day: City Council has more pressing issues

Instead of trying to rewrite a perceived long-ago historical global injustice, perhaps our City Council should focus on present and future Seattle problems for which we elected and pay them, such as inadequate infrastructure, crime, income disparity and rising rents [“Holiday to honor indigenous people? Seattle council to vote,” Local News, Oct. 5].

Changing Columbus Day to Indigenous Peoples’ Day smacks of tokenism at best, and at the expense of the Italian-American community. If the council truly wants to address historical wrongs with actions of substance, perhaps they should propose reparations for Native Americans or return the lands swindled by our Seattle founding families. Columbus Day was low-hanging fruit.

When the so-called activists come after the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays, I expect the council to apply the same standards as they used with Columbus Day. And, as councilmember Nick Licata pointed out at a September committee meeting, George Washington was the largest owner of slaves in Virginia. Following the council’s precedent, I would expect council committee members to propose changing the name of our state as it may be an affront to many Seattleites.

Also, keep in mind Indigenous Peoples’ Day is redundant. We have both a federal and state Native American Heritage Day on the Friday after Thanksgiving to “pay tribute to Native Americans for their many contributions to the United States.”

John Bellavia, Seattle

Comments | More in Seattle City Council | Topics: Columbus Day, Indigenous Peoples' Day, John Bellavia

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