Traverse City Record-Eagle

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June 19, 2014

Letters to the Editor: 06/19/2014

An insulting holiday

I’m surprised at city commissioners’ dismissive responses to a Native American group’s proposal to re-designate Columbus Day as Indigenous People Day. Finally — something all people of good will can support without name-calling and partisan divisions.

Thanks to Idle No More, Traverse City has an opportunity, on behalf of our diverse citizenry, creative commerce and collective conscience. to replace an increasingly insulting holiday with a healing and dignified observance that is worthy of who we really are.

Cities, towns and counties from west coast to Wisconsin have already taken this road. Four states (South Dakota, Oregon, Hawaii and Alaska) have done so.

I respectfully disagree with Mayor Estes’ reported perspective that this is not the business of the city commission. That precedent is already set. Neither Congress nor most state assemblies seem to have the heart for the way real people strive to live together with dignity and respect. It is uniquely the business of the city to address an opportunity for citizens to create honorable community, celebrate publicly their regard for all humankind and provide moral vision to their children. As a bonus, Traverse City’s image becomes that of doing the right thing and leading to the future.

Stan VerHeul

Traverse City

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