On Monday morning, President Trump tweeted his praise for Columbus Day. In the tweet, Trump praised Christopher Columbus for his “determination & adventure.”
“Christopher Columbus’s spirit of determination & adventure has provided inspiration to generations of Americans,” Trump said within his tweet pictured below.
The president’s tweet made no mention of indigenous peoples, who have been proven to have suffered horrifically during the time that Columbus and his men discovered the Americas. The Hill reports that critics are upset with the president’s praise for Christopher Columbus and his omission of any commentary related to indigenous people. The lack of their mention can be compared to past President Obama’s reference to Native Americans and the losses they suffered as a result of Columbus’s crusade.
Users on Twitter fired back at the president in the comments section.
“You are an ignorant fool… Columbus also spearheaded the atlantic slave trade and began a ruthless cycle of genocide against the Native Americans,” asserted one commenter.
“Christopher Columbus was a murderer, rapist and slave driver. It’s only typical that you would honor him,” said another.
Still, Trump had some supporters commenting on his post.
“Best President Ever. Make America Great Again,” cheered one Twitter user.
Christopher Columbus’s spirit of determination & adventure has provided inspiration to generations of Americans. On #ColumbusDay, we honor his remarkable accomplishments as a navigator, & celebrate his voyage into the unknown expanse of the Atlantic Ocean. https://t.co/Mg3dxRfPuN— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 8, 2018
The Hill also explains that indigenous peoples’ groups and organizations have pushed throughout the years to change the holiday known as Columbus Day to an updated version called “Indigenous Peoples Day” in order to give recognition to the Native Americans who were in America first.
As the Huffington Post states, this year’s comment on Columbus Day was the second year in a row that President Trump did not mention indigenous people. On the other hand, his predecessor Obama made a statement of mentioning Native Americans, their accomplishments, and recognizing the pain they suffered on each Columbus Day. Obama spoke of “broken promises” that must be repaired after the way that Native Americans suffered exploitation, disease, and death upon colonization by Europeans.
“As we mark this rich history, we must also acknowledge the pain and suffering reflected in the stories of Native Americans who had long resided on this land prior to the arrival of European newcomers,” Obama said one year.
More and more municipalities are calling the holiday “Indigenous Peoples Day,” and city officials in Columbus, Ohio, reportedly said that they won’t be celebrating the event city-wide this year, says the Huffington Post. The state of South Dakota has apparently been calling it “Native American Day” for the past 30 years, says The Hill. A list of the places celebrating “Indigenous Peoples Day” was reported earlier today by the Inquisitr.