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DeSantis Blasts Those Who ‘Seek To Defame’ Christopher Columbus By Revising History

(Photo by DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS/AFP via Getty Images)

Nicole Silverio Contributor
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Republican Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis declared in a Monday proclamation that Americans must celebrate Christopher Columbus’ famous voyage rather than “revise history” to blame America for the “evils of the world.”

“Whereas, we must learn from history and continue to discuss Columbus’ contributions, discoveries, and experiences rather than revise history, and acknowledge that individuals who seek to defame Columbus and try to expunge the day from our civic calendar do so as part of a mission to portray the United States and Western history in a negative light as they seek to blame our country and its values for all that is evil in the world, rather than see it as the force for good,” DeSantis wrote.

The Florida governor said Columbus’ voyage in 1492 paved the way for future European settlement in the Western Hemisphere and the eventual founding of the United States of America. He also argued that the Genoa-born explorer “engenders the pride” of Italian Americans throughout the nation, who he said have embodied American values and “way of life.”

“Columbus continues to be a historical figure who engenders the pride of nearly 17 million Italian Americans, a community whose warmth, generosity, patriotism, and love of family have made those characteristics even greater components of the broader American culture and way of life,” the governor said. (RELATED: NYC Schools Will Replace Columbus Day With ‘Italian Heritage Day/Indigenous Peoples’ Day’)

DeSantis said that Columbus Day has always been a day of unity among all Americans since former President Benjamin Harrison declared it a federal holiday in 1892, the 400th anniversary of the explorer’s discovery of the New World. The governor said the celebration of the holiday brings “optimism, hope, and appreciation for the trail-blazing legacy” of American history.

Disagreements continue to arise over the push for replacing Columbus Day with Indigenous Peoples’ Day in order to celebrate the Native people that lived in the Americas before European settlement. Several have argued that Columbus Day is a celebration of the explorer’s brutal mistreatment of Indigenous people he encountered after landing ashore.

President Joe Biden became the first president to mark the second Monday of October as Indigenous Peoples’ Day after issuing an Oct. 8 presidential proclamation. Republicans Sens. Ron Johnson of Wisconsin and James Lankford of Oklahoma introduced an amendment to cancel Columbus Day and declare Juneteenth a federal holiday in July, 2020.