We just voted to change “Columbus Day” to “Indigenous Peoples’ Day”.A few years back. We changed the name of King County to, wait for it, King County. Only now it was named for Martin Luther King instead of some obscure 19th century former slaveholder. We love our symbolic gestures here in Seattle.Me: I don’t have a huge amount invested in Columbus Day. Nor does anybody else much any more. The civic cult of Columbus was founded in the 19th century in order to give Italian Catholic immigrants who were being treated like crap by “real” Americans a place at the civic table. (Protestant America said, “Look! We realize we’ve treated you papist foreigners like an invading bacteria in the pure WASP culture of America, but we are now welcoming you into our public life. See! Here’s a famous Italian we are now suddenly pretending was important to us after generations of talking about the Pilgrims as though American history starts with them.”  For our part as Catholics, it’s what also led to the creation of the Knights of Columbus: “See, Protestant America!  Catholics are not subversives here to undermine your civilization and kill Abraham Lincoln!  We are good civic-minded  people!”)  Such a cultural rapprochment is understandable since it was, after all, the era where this was standard fare for the sort of people who would today be watching FOX and screaming about diseased subversive immigrants infiltrating our Sacred Shores: It would take a generation or so–and a Sacco and Vanzetti trial–before Italians would be fully integrated into American life and making flag-waving Frank Capra movies that no American would think twice about cheering for.  So a Columbus Day to say, “Hey!  We recognize that Italians have a real place in American life” was not such a bad idea at the time.  It’s how

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