The ongoing battle over the Columbus Day Parade has moved from the street to the state legislature.Neither? Nooooooooo!
Democratic Sen. Suzanne Williams is considering legislation to change the Columbus Day holiday in Colorado.
Colorado was the first state to observe the holiday in 1905. It's now a federal holiday, which will be observed on Oct. 8 this year. American Indians have long protested Denver's parade celebration, saying Columbus did not discover America and was neither a hero nor a role model.
Why do people like Williams always seem to think we're brainwashed and in need of brave truthtellers like them to shake us out of our racist hegemonist complacency? Oh, yeah.
Williams is a registered member of the Comanche tribe of Oklahoma.
She says the various factions of the American Indian community are "ready to move beyond protesting." Williams said she is talking with government leaders and studying options for legislation.
"One option is to change the Columbus Day holiday in Colorado," she said, which could "possibly" involve changing the name. "All Nations Day" has come up before. Another option is to change the "parade structure" to have an event "of many cultures." She hopes to engage the people of Colorado "as we look at the reality that Christopher Columbus did not discover America."
What I really don't get is how the legislature could change the Columbus Day parade's "structure." It isn't a governmental operation, it's put on by the local Sons of Italy, who have the First Amendment right to put on a parade celebrating Columbus or anyone else any way they want.
So how does Williams think this change might be constitutionally accomplished? Will she claim, as a well-known scholar frequently does, that the Ninth Amendment trumps the First? Or will she just try to pressure Denver into refusing the Sons of Italy a parade permit? The story concludes:
So far, Williams hasn't engaged the Italian-American community, which has been protective of the annual Columbus Day celebration. Pam Wright, state president of the Sons of Italy, said, "It's really sad that people have to rain on somebody's parade. It's a celebration of what our ancestors did."Engaged. Protective. The piece was written by Julia Martinez, who is not, apparently, a reporter, but a member of the Post's editorial board. Weird. Anyway, she ends with a little history lesson, just in case we forgot:
On Columbus Day, Italian Americans celebrate their heritage and commemorate the day Columbus landed in the new world in 1492.Update: All Nations Day? What are we, Canadians?
Update II: Took the word "Parade" off the end of the title of this post because Williams is exploring the elimination of Columbus Day as a holiday, not just the parade. I'm a newshound with a nose for the story, all right.