Christopher Columbus enslaved indigenous people and subjected them to violence. Trump said he wants to protect that 'legacy.'
Donald Trump on Tuesday promised he would protect the legacy of Christopher Columbus, the explorer who enslaved and committed violence against Native Americans in his quest to discover new lands.
Trump tweeted a quote he apparently saw on One America News Network that claimed, "The Radical Left is trying hard to undermine the Christopher Columbus legacy. A great Italian opened new chapter in history of humanity by discovering the Americas," to which Trump then said, "Not on my watch!"
Trump's tweet came a day after Columbus Day — which is still a federal holiday
Of course, Columbus did not discover the Americas. Millions of native people had already been living there.
Columbus is known to have "committed atrocities against native peoples" in the Americas and "decimated their populations," as the Washington Post has reported.
In fact, Columbus' terrible treatment of the indigenous people who had already been living in the Americas has led dozens of cities across the country to rename Columbus Day as Indigenous Peoples' Day.
In 2019, the Washington, D.C., city council voted to rename the holiday, saying that Columbus "enslaved, colonized, mutilated, and massacred thousands of Indigenous People in the Americas," and that naming a holiday after him "serves only to perpetuate hate and oppression, in contrast to the values the District espouses on a daily basis."
Trump, for his part, has often lashed out when Americans move to grapple with the United States' dark history with race.
He opposes the removal of statues dedicated to Confederate soldiers who took up arms against their own country in order to preserve slavery. He's also vowed not to rename military bases named for Confederates, and even threatened to pull funding from states that refuse to teach a sanitized version of the United States' treatment of Black people since slavery.
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.