WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump’s proclamation Friday commemorating Columbus Day veered from a typical White Home vacation announcement, with stark warnings of “radical activists” looking for to tarnish the explorer’s legacy.
Native American advocates have pressed states for years to alter Columbus Day to Indigenous Peoples Day over considerations that Christopher Columbus helped launch centuries of genocide in opposition to indigenous populations within the Americas.
“Sadly, in recent times, radical activists have sought to undermine Christopher Columbus’s legacy,” Trump mentioned in his proclamation declaring Monday Columbus Day. “These extremists search to interchange dialogue of his huge contributions with discuss of failings, his discoveries with atrocities, and his achievements with transgressions.”
Trump has been projecting himself as a defender of America’s historical past and monuments as he seeks reelection. He signed an govt order just lately to ascertain a fee to advertise what he calls “patriotic training.” The transfer is partly a response to The New York Occasions’ “1619 Challenge,” which highlights the long-term penalties of slavery and the contributions of Black People.
Trump ceaselessly cites the fee at his marketing campaign rallies, and he did so once more in his proclamation Friday.
Trump has additionally ordered federal businesses to finish variety coaching packages. In his proclamation Friday, he mentioned many such packages “are grounded in the identical kind of revisionist historical past that’s making an attempt to erase Christopher Columbus from our nationwide heritage.”