Friday, December 29, 2017

CTU Resolution to Rename Columbus Day

CTU Passes Resolution to Rename Columbus Day
By Jim Vail

It's time we stop celebrating this war criminal!

The Chicago Teacher's Union passed a resolution at the December House of Delegates meeting entitled "Demand the Abolition of Christopher Columbus and Rename it Indigenous People's Day."

The resolution was introduced by Jim Vail, yours truly, that was submitted after my students had petitioned the school board, the Chicago Board of Education and the Little Village alderman about the need to stop celebrating a war criminal who enslaved and killed many Indian people when he arrived to America 500 years ago.

The delegates did not want to eliminate the official holiday which is a state holiday and gives teachers a day off. When I suggested that CPS should no longer have a day off for Columbus day like other suburban districts and replace it with another holiday or move it to the end of the year, a smattering of noo's went up. 

This resolution is just to rename the holiday and not eliminate the day off. 

Currently the state law according to the American Indian Center (AIC) is to celebrate both Columbus and American Indigenous People. However, AIC said they would like to abolish this new state law and rename it only Indigenous People's Day. However, that is a political fight, with the Italian groups wielding some political power (the Balbo statute in Grant Park is a gift of fascist Italian leader) and Columbus name connected to Chicago's history - a star on the city flag represents the World Columbus Fair 1893 and there is the Columbus Day Parade - where politicians march like puppets.

A small but vocal group of about seven or eight in the delegates meeting said no to the resolution. The rest overwhelmingly said yes.

The Resolution states in the Resolves:

Be it resolved, that the Columbus Day holiday be renamed the Indigenous People's Day the second Monday of October, and:

Be it resolved, that this shall be a day of solidarity and education among the Indigenous communities and people of Chicago, and:

Be it resolved, that the CTU shall promote this resolution in the schools and help encourage schools to develop a curriculum that focuses on the true history of our indigenous population, and;

Be it further resolved, that the CTU work with the American Culture Center to promote the cultural contributions the native people have made and continue to make in our society. 

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