BALTIMORE (WBFF) -- There is a big debate right now over what Baltimore City will be doing October 12, 2017. It may be 11 months away, but some Baltimore City students and City Councilman Brandon Scott say they want Columbus Day eliminated because of atrocities attributed to the explorer, including slave trade.
Scott proposed a bill which read, “Commemorative Days - Indigenous Peoples’ Day for the purpose of declaring the 2nd Monday in October of each year to be Indigenous Peoples’ Day and requiring the Mayor to proclaim Indigenous Peoples’ Day on the 2nd Monday in October of each year. “
However, some Italian Americans launched a petition drive to prevent the change, and protect ‘Columbus Day.’ In response, Councilman Scott added an amendment to his proposal so the bill now reads, “Commemorative Days - Indigenous Peoples’ and Italian Americans Day.”
A statute of Christopher Columbus sits at the corner of President Street and Eastern Avenue in downtown Baltimore. It was dedicated more than 30 years ago as a tribute to the explorer.
Eddie I., an Italian American who lives in Baltimore City, is in support of keeping it designated as ‘Columbus Day.'
He says, "When does the line stop, like when does this stop? If this gets changed, something else is going to get changed."
Ben Davis walked by a short time later and had a very different viewpoint.
He stated, "I think it’s good because now you’re including everyone. It’s not just one person and Christopher Columbus wasn't the first one here. There was already people here, so you need to include them."
The Baltimore City Council will vote on the proposal December 5. Five states do not recognize Columbus Day: Hawaii, Alaska, Oregon, South Dakota, and Vermont. Several cities already have changed the October 12 designation to ‘Discoverer’s Day,’ or ‘Indigenous Peoples Day.’