Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) said on Monday that she supports changing Columbus Day to “Indigenous Peoples’ Day” in part because Americans have to remember that the United States is “the scene of a crime” when it comes to “institutionalized racism.”
At a town hall event in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, a questioner asked Harris, the 2020 presidential candidate, if she would support an “Indigenous Peoples’ Day” at the federal level because the voices of indigenous Americans are being “erased and marginalized.”
Harris said she would support the change, arguing that it matters because Americans have to “remember history.”
“We have to remember our history. Uncomfortable, to your point about truths, though it may make us,” she said.
Harris then talked about her anti-lynching bill that recently passed the Senate and said it “finally got passed” in 2019 partly because “people did not want to deal and accept, and most importantly, admit that we are the scene of a crime when it comes to what we did with slavery and Jim Crow and institutionalized racism in this country.”
“And we have to be honest about that. We have to be honest. We have to be honest. Because if we’re not honest, we’re, one, not going to deal with the vestiges of all of that harm, and we’re not going to correct course, and we’re not going to be true to our values and our morals,” Harris said. “And so similarly, when it comes to indigenous Americans, the indigenous people, there is a lot of work that we still have to do.”
Harris told the questioner that she applauded her point and effort to change Columbus Day to “Indigenous People’s Day.”
“So count me in on support,” Harris said.