Baltimore City council rejects move to abolish Columbus Day
BALTIMORE (WBFF) -- The Baltimore City Council has rejected a move to abolish the celebration of Columbus Day in Baltimore and replace it with "Indigenous People's Day."
The measure, sponsored by Councilman Brandon Scott, failed by a 7-6 margin with two council members abstaining.
Scott introduced the measure at the request of some city school students.
Some associate Christopher Columbus with the transatlantic slave trade. Scott says he offered critics a compromise in order to win more support.
"They won't tell you this; I offered the compromise of adding Italian Heritage Day to Indigenous People's Day to the Knights of Columbus last month when we got in the heat of this debate and they told me they weren't interested in anything other than Christopher Columbus," Scott said. "So despite their arrogance and despite their willingness not to be at the table, we added it to the bill anyway."
But opponents like Charlene Cowan of Baltimore, who attended Monday's meeting, say Columbus Day should be left as is.
"If saying Columbus' name today is offensive, then they should rename it to Italian Americans Day but don't make it shared with another group," Cowan said. "Indigenous people deserve their own day as well as Italian Americans and I think there could be a better compromise that could be reached."