President Joe Biden issued the first-ever presidential proclamation for Indigenous Peoples’ Day on Friday, adopting a practice long pushed by the left as a replacement for Columbus Day, which is said to be offensive to Native American communities.
Biden’s proclamation recognized Monday — the day the federal government will observe Columbus Day — as Indigenous Peoples’ Day, and declared, in part:
For generations, Federal policies systematically sought to assimilate and displace Native people and eradicate Native cultures. Today, we recognize Indigenous peoples’ resilience and strength as well as the immeasurable positive impact that they have made on every aspect of American society. We also recommit to supporting a new, brighter future of promise and equity for Tribal Nations — a future grounded in Tribal sovereignty and respect for the human rights of Indigenous people in the Americas and around the world.
He also issued a separate proclamation for Columbus Day, casting it as a holiday of importance to “Italian Americans,” but adding that it marked “the painful history of wrongs and atrocities that many European explorers inflicted on Tribal Nations and Indigenous communities.”
As Breitbart News’ Frances Martel has observed, Christopher Columbus himself was indirectly responsible for the creation of the doctrine of human rights, through the extension of Christianity to the New World:
In the past few decades, the holiday has been sabotaged by leftist movements seeking to turn Christopher Columbus into the sacrificial lamb of European America, calling for statues of the man to be taken down and the second Monday in October to be renamed “Indigenous Peoples’ Day.”
While Columbus was the first European with the courage to venture west enough to find this hemisphere– hence becoming a lightning rod for anti-white sentiment– he was no successful conquistador, and his adventure is largely responsible for America (and greater Latin America) being a heavily Christian land. The discovery of the Americas by the Spanish empire, and not the English, also led directly to the formation of what is now modern human rights theory, and it was a Spaniard who applied the budding human rights concepts in Catholic doctrine to Native Americans for the first time.
It is important to note that the abuses for which the Spanish would one day be famous for on mainland North America– the attempts to convert Native monarchs like Atahualpa and Montezuma— occurred long after Columbus had authority in the eyes of Spain.
Then-candidate Biden also observed Indigenous Peoples’ Day on the campaign trail in 2020, and completely ignored Columbus Day, issuing a statement declaring: ““Our nation has never lived up to our full promise of equality for all — especially not when it comes to the rights of the indigenous people who were here long before ships arrived from Europe.”
Many Democrats, including Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) condoned the destruction last year of a statue of Christopher Coumbus in Baltimore, Maryland, by a mob of Black Lives Matter protesters.
White House press secretary said Friday there were no plans yet to eliminate Columbus Day entirely as a federal holiday.
Earlier, President Biden signed an executive order reversing President Donald Trump’s order to reduce the size of several national monuments, two of which were designated as such by President Barack Obama, whom critics said often abused his powers under the Antiquities Act. One monument, Bears Ears in Utah, was declared only weeks before Obama left office.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). He is the author of the recent e-book, Neither Free nor Fair: The 2020 U.S. Presidential Election. His recent book, RED NOVEMBER, tells the story of the 2020 Democratic presidential primary from a conservative perspective. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.