Christopher Columbus Causes Young American Indians To Kill Themselves

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The crazy headline you just read isn’t just click-bait:  It’s an argument made during the Los Angeles City Council meeting Wednesday.

The council took public comment on a proposal to change the name of Columbus Day to Indigenous Peoples’ Day.

Chrissie Castro, who describes herself as “a citizen of the Navajo Nation, and a social justice consultant working on national and international issues of equity for all peoples,” made the following statement in support of tossing Columbus from his Day:

“We have the highest rate of youth suicide. The American Psychological Association has determined that dehumanizing symbols such as Columbus are part of the cause for that. We must stop that now.”

(This astonishing comment is at 1:36:28 of the city council’s video of the meeting.)

Now, suicide is heartbreaking no matter who is considering it or committing it. And it’s true that the suicide rate among American Indian youths is more than twice the national average. Poverty, lack of opportunity, breakdown of families, health problems, and emotional problems all contribute to suicidal tendencies. We ought to do whatever we can to help.

But Christopher Columbus?

Imagine the deep need this woman has to blame troubles on someone else, to the point where she targets someone who died in 1506.

Nor is she someone who happened to wander to the microphone. Castro is vice chairman of the Los Angeles City-County Native American Indian Commission. She also serves as an adviser to indigenous families and organizations.

Is this the message she spreads?  Blame someone else?

Whom does that help?

Several emotionally fragile people stepped to the microphone at Los Angeles City Hall on Wednesday, some offering incoherent cases against Columbus Day.

When changing the name of the second Monday in October to Indigenous Peoples’ Day doesn’t solve your problems, whom will you blame next?

Whatever you do, stay away from any mirrors.