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Janey declares Monday Indigenous Peoples Day; Edwards objects

Indigenous Peoples’ Day in Boston - 10-6-21

Acting Mayor Kim Janey today signed an executive order declaring the second Monday of every October as Indigenous Peoples Day, to honor the people whose genocide began with the voyages of the day's previous honoree, Christopher Columbus.

With Boston’s long history comes an opportunity and obligation to acknowledge the difficult parts of our past and dedicate ourselves to fostering a more equitable City. Observing Indigenous Peoples Day is about replacing the colonial myths passed down from generation to generation with the true history of the land upon which our nation was founded.

City Councilor and state Senate candidate Lydia Edwards, who represents the North End and East Boston, which together make up the city's largest concentration of Italian-Americans declared herself outraged and caught by surprise.

I don't believe it encourages the honest, transparent, healing conversation we need. We should absolutely honor and celebrate indigenous people as a city. Boston will forever celebrate, honor and acknowledge Italian Americans. With the right conversation, led by our new mayor, that recognizes the urgency of the moment we as a community will do both.

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Comments

Girl, shut up. Thank you, Mayor Janey!

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I wonder if she would have if she were still running for mayor.

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“Girl” ?!!

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Get treated like one. Ms. Edwards' response was petulant whataboutism.

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“Act like one
Get treated like one”

What do you have against girls?

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But it's a degree of immaturity which separates them from women.

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… using “girl” as a put down.

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you are reading too much into this.

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Sounds like you are boysplaining. LOL!

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“girl” is just Black parlance; it’s not misogynistic in this context

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It’s ageist too.
“Black parlance” doesn’t get a pass just because it’s “black”.

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notice how when i call you “dog” you don’t think i’m calling you a literal dog, right?

you’ve been on this contextless tirade against slang for months. i get what you’re trying to do, and it’s somewhat commendable. you can’t just erase context though.

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When you use “dog” as an insult you’re being specist. Woof!

Tirade is an exaggeration. I sometimes point out some of the more blatant sexist and racist terms. I get it though, why they inadvertently slip out of of people’s mouths. We’ve used them for so long just out of habit. I’m having the hardest time myself stopping referring to annoying people as douchbags and cops and gluttons as pigs. I happen to really like pigs.

I don’t know if changing words actually changes attitudes, but I do know people are offended by many. Lydia Edwards is a douch….er …. asshole. But calling her a girl just insults girls.

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but when a Black person uses “girl…” or “boy…” there is no ageist implication. it’s just a prelude to the coming rant.

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I’m a gay man. That’s all it is. Bye girl.

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You can stop white-knighting any time now. It really isn't needed.

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… is right about you. ;)

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...I'm right about you.

Your contribution to this thread began with tone policing, bud - you don't have a leg to stand on.

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Silly wabbit!

(Apologies for the specist remark)

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Acting Mayor.

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How can anyone paying attention for the last 20 years, let alone the last 18 months, be caught by surprise about Columbus-related things being on the way out?

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Complete false equivalence and such obvious pandering. This city and region is built on land taken from indigenous people (not Italian Americans) and there was a genocide here against indigenous people (not Italian Americans).

This state did famously kill 2 Italian anarchist immigrants Nicola Sacco and Bartolomeo Vanzetti, however no one who brings up Italians to celebrate the first trans-Atlantic slave trader seems interesting in honoring them with a public monument. It shows what this really is.

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Sacco & Vanzetti monument inside the BPL?

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Who was the first trans-Atlantic slave trader? It certainly wasn't Columbus, who never sailed to Africa.

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Columbus violently enslaved people on Hispaniola. He shipped about 500 across the Atlantic to Spain to be sold into slavery.

Between 2.5 - 5 million indigenous Americans were enslaved, starting with the arrival of Columbus. Furthermore, Puritans enslaving local Indians and then trafficking those people to the West Indies for trade is what accounts for the begining of African-descended slavery in New England during colonial times.

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but for the most part african slaves were too expensive for the spanish, who unlike the english and portuguese, didn't have the same type of access to west african ports

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Go sail off the edge of the earth, Lydia.

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The trust fund kid wants black women to shut up.

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Boston will forever celebrate, honor and acknowledge Italian Americans.

Sure, that's fine, but what does the 2nd Monday in October, or Christopher Columbus have to do with that? Last time I checked, he wasn't an Italian American and there's nothing particularly Italian about Mondays in October.

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I’m just kidding. Of course he was. Dead pseudo-hero from 550 years ago who never even came to what’s now the US. But really, who cares.

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Columbus’s ships spotted land (Bahamas) for the first time on October 12, 1492 (Julian Calendar). Like Presidents’ Day and MLK’s birthday, it got moved to a specific Monday for consistency.

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in the Bahamas?

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DR and Haiti on 12/5. It’s called Discovery Day.

Columbus and his son established the first Catholic Church on the Island, it’s in Santo Domingo.

Still there.

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Oct 12 was Discovery Day until 2013, now it is National Heroes Day. There are variations on Columbus Day in many countries, from Italy, the Caribbean, and Latin America.

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So the place he actually first landed upon isn't even celebrating him anymore?

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…have less of an appetite for a genocidal slave-trading sex trafficker than Americans do.

Weird.

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Careful with claiming who Christopher was or wasn’t. Comrade Gafin is watching.

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of Adam taking issue with what I've said here.

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I delete historically inaccurate crap, like claiming Columbus wasn't Italian.

It must be awful going through life hating everything like you do.

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...but he was not Italian-American.

Columbus was in command of a Spanish expedition and subsequently served as a Spanish governor. His celebration by the Italian-American community is a bit peculiar; he was the agent of a conquering autocracy and never fought for freedom, unlike, say, Giuseppe Garibaldi. Nor did Columbus play any role in the history of the English colonies that subsequently formed the United States. He no more deserves celebration by Italian-Americans than Konstantin Rokossowski does by Polish-Americans.

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There was no such thing as "Italian" in the fifteenth century. Columbus was Genoese, a citizen of a city-republic with its own small empire. His native language was Genoese, a dialect of Ligurian, which is more closely related to Spanish than it is to Italian. Of course, Spain didn't exist, as a country, in Columbus's day, either; Ferdinand and Isabella were monarchs of Aragon and Castile, respectively, not of a united Spain. All of which illustrates why trying to impose modern national identities on people who lived a half a millennium ago is such a useless enterprise.

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The concept of Italy as a region has existed for two milenia. Caesar Augustus designated Liguria, home of Genoa, a region of Italy around 7 BC. Of course political borders on the peninsula have constantly evolved and the peninsula was a collection of city states and small kingdoms in the 16th century, but the concept of Italy had been around for 1500 years and would not be foreign to citizens of Genoa.

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It's ok

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Pretty dumb comment. You could make the case that Mondays in October aren't very indigenous either.

Edwards is speaking up because many of her constituents are Italian and Italian-American, which she should do.

I am all for a Native American holiday. Be authentic. Chose a date that actually corresponds with an actual Native American festival. Native Americans deserve better than sloppy seconds to replace Columbus Day.

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Is there a motion to abolish the 2nd Monday in October holiday?

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...that led my Puritan ancestors to abolish Christmas and Easter.

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…. all her Italian-American constituents are against the change.

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Our country is named after an Italian explorer.

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... is originally Germanic ("Amalric").

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for Proto Indo-European Americans?

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We white folks celebrate whiteness each and every day.

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some of its indigenous people, who are still around. Their website is here: http://massachusetttribe.org/the-tribe (worth visiting as an observance of IP Day).

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Forget the merit of the announcement. How can she file an executive order as an acting mayor. Isn’t the deal something along the lines that she can only make decisions that are time sensitive or _______ (I forget the exact terminology). Seems like she is completely ignoring the “acting” part even now as a lame duck.

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The day is less than a week away

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Kim Janey: "We're going to be just a little bit nicer to native people. Nobody actually has to do anything tangible, we're just going to call it something else.

Too many simple minded idiot embarrassments whom I'm so far read on the Internet: "NO HOW DARE YOU MAKE ME FEEL BAD OR INFERIOR THROUGH THIS SIMPLE GESTURE"

What happened to the quiet self-reflection and admission of fault and guilt that Yankees are renowned for?

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I don't care what holiday it is. As long as it's a Monday and I don't have to work.

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There aren't anymore gas stations in the North End for him to be hung upside down from at the end of the day. That would make it awkward.

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I've never had the second Monday in October off. Who exactly gets this holiday?

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This is my objection when people say “just make Election Day a Federal holiday”.

Government workers, banks, schools, stock markets, trade unions, some white collar companies—ther are people that get Columbus/Indigenous Peoples Day off.

But many of us work in industries that never get most holidays off unless it’s a scheduled day off or vacation day: hospitality, health care, first responders, non-union trades, independent contractors, white collar people with a high work load who are technically allowed to take the day but are coerced into working because it’s not worth coming in to the additional Tuesday workload.

And when people say “make Election Day a holiday”—which I do not object to on principle—do they really think the people that need that day off the most to facilitate voting will actually have the day off? Imagine all the Dunks, Starbucks, grocery stores, gas stations, bars, department stores etc going dark for Election Day? There would be riots.

(*and make holiday pay universal, too.)

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Declare it Benito Mussolini day, then.

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How's about Al Capone Pizza Day

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Senator Edwards is just remembering to play to the balcony.

Recently though I heard someone complain about all "those people" taking jobs from indigenous Americans. Amazing how language gets used and abused.

As for Columbus Day. Why don't Irish have a holiday, as in off from work? Or why isn't there a holiday celebrating Germans? It was a German who helped Washington turn rabble into an army. Or a holiday celebrating Poles?

The idea of a Columbus Day holiday always struck me as odd.

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You must be new here. You never had Evacuation Day off?

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I still have to go to work on Evacuation Day.

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don't (and never have) gotten that holiday off.

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The United States has a strong heritage of anti-Catholicism which overlapped with anti-Italian sentiment. The first Columbus Day followed the 1891 lynching of 11 Italians in New Orleans. It has also been said that it was a gesture to improve diplomatic relations with Italy. Columbus Day was one of the ways that Italians became the “correct” type of white.

So it made sense at one time, even if it seems wildly out of place today for the reasons you cite.

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Thanks for your post

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There’s been a lot written about Italian marginalization and subsequent assimilation, but this 2019 article by Brent Staples talks further of the New Orleans lynchings, Columbus Day, and how Italians “became” white.

https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2019/10/12/opinion/columbus-day-ital...

Racist dogma about Southern Italians found fertile soil in the United States. As the historian Jennifer Guglielmo writes, the newcomers encountered waves of books, magazines and newspapers that “bombarded Americans with images of Italians as racially suspect.” They were sometimes shut out of schools, movie houses and labor unions, or consigned to church pews set aside for black people. They were described in the press as “swarthy,” “kinky haired” members of a criminal race and derided in the streets with epithets like “dago,” “guinea” — a term of derision applied to enslaved Africans and their descendants — and more familiarly racist insults like “white n*****” and “n***** wop.”

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Nice calm and rational comment. It puts the day into context without offense.

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It never was. Sorry, but most of the country still ignores it.

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Why don't Irish have a holiday, as in off from work?

Evacuation Day.

Or why isn't there a holiday celebrating Germans?

Martin Luther King Jr. Day?

Or a holiday celebrating Poles?

Festivus !!

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...just that: a coincidence. Moreover, Evacuation Day, like Bunker Hill Day, is only a holiday in Suffolk County. The rest of the country ignores it.

At least Patriots' Day is shared by the state of Maine (although Mainers appear to celebrate only one patriot, as they spell it "Patriot's Day").

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A very convenient coincidence for the Irish-American political class to curry favor with their enormous Irish-American constituency.

From Wikipedia:

A 1941 law establishing the holiday in Suffolk County was signed in both black and green ink.

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At least Patriots' Day is shared by the state of Maine

Probably because, at that time, Maine didn't exist. It was part of Massachusetts.

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Oh yes a coincidence! Totally has nothing to do with the by then twenty year old Saint Patrick's Day parade and huge Irish population boom.

It was a convenient way to tip a hat to people like my great grand parents without upsetting the upper classes at the time or stepping on the whole religious aspect of Patrick being a saint "no no no, it's a revolutionary war thing... Yes I know we have Patriots Day and Bunker Hill Day and yes the 4th of July..."

It also helps that the Irish are generally not the biggest fans of England as a country so selling them on using Evacuation Day as a cover most likely wasn't that hard.

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Kościuszko Day!

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So that I can vote against her.
I've been in community spaces with her in East Boston and at one point respected the way she worked with people, but not anymore. The outright pandering to an already over-represented group of very privileged people is the last straw.

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I used to like her as well, and while I'm not quite ready to write her off yet, I'm definitely cooling to her over stuff like this.

It whiffs of pandering at any cost instead of following an interior moral compass.

And look, if she took the politico route and said "While I personally may not like it, this is what my constituents want me to say so I'll say it for them as their elected representative," I could respect that.

Instead I just cringed myself inside-out.

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Acting Mayor Janey, please go gently into that good night.

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