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Add week-long celebration of hemisphere to Columbus Day

Have our traditional Columbus Day mark the beginning of a week-long period of study on all the wonder, beauty, science and lore of this hemisphere’s indigenous people.

The Columbus Day Parade travels down North State Street from East Lake Street, Monday afternoon, Oct. 8, 2018. | Ashlee Rezin/Sun-Times
The Columbus Day Parade travels down North State Street from East Lake Street, Monday afternoon, Oct. 8, 2018.
Ashlee Rezin/Sun-Times

Having just returned from out of town and read about this unfortunate imbroglio between CPS and a few of Chicago’s proud Italian American aldermen, may I suggest the following?

“Indigenous Peoples Day” is as insulting and inadequate a gesture as dismissing the profound historical contribution of Columbus’ opening of the “new” world. The intrepid feat performed by the man from Genoa and his tiny fleet of three cannot and should never be ignored. On the other hand, nor should the vast and myriad cultures his journey introduced to the European world.

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To think that the wonders of this ”new” world from the Algonquin to the Zunis, the Aztecs to the Zuruaha can be celebrated in a single day is laughable.

A better compromise would be to have our traditional Columbus Day mark the beginning of a week-long period of study on all the wonder, beauty, science and lore of this hemisphere’s indigenous people. It would be a good start and a small acknowledgment of the centuries of mankind’s best and worst history in this part of our world.

Dennis Allen, Wilmette

At the extreme

In an age where what passes for ”political correctness” is far more important than common sense, the CPS just placed itself at the extreme end of the former. In its uninfinite wisdom, their decision to replace Columbus Day with “Indigenous Peoples Day” serves to only create yet another divide among the citizens of Chicago. With ethnic and racial divisions and tensions increasing almost daily, this is the last thing the city needs.

A simple, common sense approach would have been to establish “Indigenous Peoples Day” on almost any other date and keep Columbus Day. But why be more inclusive when you can stick it to somebody, right?

Tom Sharp, Uptown

Wild social expenditures

The column by Mona Charen, which described some of the facts of life in Castro’s Cuba — facts that Bernie Sanders seems to have willfully forgotten or discounted in his Communist/socialist zeal — was well placed above the letter to the editor from a Peoria resident pleading for an end to new taxes in Illinois.

The sort of society Sanders envisions would demand such wild social expenditures that it will not simply be the “single older woman” in places such as Peoria who will be suffering from outrageous taxation levels and facing loss of their home.

At a time when we annually hear that by 2084 (or earlier), Social Security will be running at a deficit and likely reducing benefits — how someone can even think the sort of wildly idealistic and unlikely social programs Sanders endorses will come about, is amazing. (The billionaires will leave the country.) But also, as Charen’s column described, there will be the loss of other freedoms (including freedom of the press). I wonder what sort of moral or emotional crisis exists that people would even give these ideas of Sanders’ a second, or third, thought at all.

Robin Sheffield, Lisle