Letter to the Editor: FIU has failed to be #WorldsAhead

Daniel Capote/ President of Stonewall Pride Alliance


Monday, Sept. 26, I, on behalf of my student group Stonewall Pride Alliance, attended our student government’s meeting addressing a resolution to recognize Columbus Day as Indigenous People’s Day at Florida International University. After a presentation claiming Columbus’s historical and cultural significance to European-Americans, and several senators expressing concern for European-American student’s feelings if they “lost” Columbus Day, the resolution failed to pass.

This maintains a status quo where indigenous people are erased, ignored, discriminated against, and destroyed. A lot of conversation was made about creating a separate day for indigenous people instead of taking away Columbus day from others, but it failed to understand that the continued celebration of a mass murderer is actively antagonistic to indigenous people.

Equality can only be achieved if we put effort toward repairing and uplifting the disenfranchised, and if we worry too much about white people feeling guilty about their history of oppression, we will never achieve progress. If we continue trying to avoid the process and if no one wants to rattle the cage and create change, we’ll never move forward.

Why celebrate a man that “discovered” a land that already had people on it? And who then proceeded to murder and rape the people that he found? Our relationship with the indigenous people whose land we live on is irreparably damaged and the small gesture that abolishing Columbus day would have provided was denied today.

This is in the face of so many student groups coming out to support the resolution and having our coalition be compared to the frivolity of a popularity contest.

I’m aware that it’s completely possible that there may be another article spouting the benefits and virtues of Columbus day written by a very well-meaning student who is ignorant of the complexities of this argument. But unfortunately, this argument has two sides, and one side is severely at a disadvantage to speak on its own behalf because most of them, thanks to people like Columbus, are lying dead in the ground.

Even today there are those who are being denied the final right of resting in peace because of the construction of an oil pipeline. We are not surprised, we are outraged.

I believe that today FIU failed its Worlds Ahead motto, and instead let itself be #WorldsBehind



Letters to the Editor are not written by FIUSM Staff. They are submitted by readers of The Beacon. These views are separate from editorials and reflect individual perspectives of contributing writers and/or members of the University community.


Image retrieved from Flickr.

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