Joe Salazar introduces legislation to repeal Columbus Day as a state holiday in Colorado

Apr 10, 2017 877

BY: Ernest Luning

State Rep. Joe Salazar, a Thornton Democrat, on Friday introduced a bill to cancel Columbus Day as a state holiday in Colorado and instead offer state employees a floating day off in October. The legislation, House Bill 1327, includes a lengthy section that declares, “The Columbus voyage triggered one of history’s greatest slave trades, the pillaging of Earth’s natural resources, and a level of inhumanity toward indigenous peoples that still exists,” and adds, “Columbus’ legacy of abuse and disrespect is still readily apparent today.”

It’s a different proposal than a bill Salazar introduced last year to replace Columbus Day — it would still remain a federal holiday — with Indigenous Peoples’ Day. That bill died on a lopsided voted in a Democratic-controlled House committee amid complaints it was stripping a holiday from Italian Americans and handing it to Native Americans, an argument Salazar disputed. Salazar says the new bill should make it clear it’s not about endorsing one culture over another but about refusing to glorify one of history’s most consequential monsters.

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