A Fox News host has claimed Christopher Columbus is being “cancelled” because more people are marking Indigenous People’s Day on October 11 rather than the public holiday named after the Italian explorer.
On Monday, host Rachel Campos-Duffy told viewers that calls for Columbus Day to become Indigenous Peoples Day were tantamount to “cancelling” the controversial figure.
“Thanks to cancel culture Christopher Columbus Day is looking a little different this year as cities chose to celebrate Indigenous Peoples Day instead,” said Campos-Duffy.
“Christopher Columbus statues have been ripped down and in some cities like Philadelphia, boxed up for the holiday after a city representative claimed that uncovering the statue would pose a safety risk”.
Columbus, who arrived in the Americas – specifically what is now the Bahamas – in 1492, is increasingly associated with the beginnings of the transatlantic slave trade and of himself owning more than a thousand slaves on the island of Hispaniola.
He became the focus of anti-racism campaigners last year after Minneapolis police murdered an unarmed Black man, George Floyd, and Black Lives Matter demonstrations swept across the US.
States of Christopher Columbus were among dozens of monuments vandalised and pulled down by campaigners, while many others were removed by city and town officials, as were monuments associated with the Confederacy, and its legacy of slave ownership in the South.
Responding to Campos-Duffy, American comedian and talk show host Joe Piscopo said his grandparents were Italian and that removing Christopher Coulombs Day was disrespectful.
"They were treated with the utmost disrespect and they fought so hard," he said of his grandparents. "They wanted to come here just to be American. That's all they wanted."
"Why are they trying to take this away? You diminish the fight and the journey of my grandparents by trying to cancel out Columbus."
Dozens of Twitter users meanwhile took to Twitter to accuse Fox News of failing to acknowledge the historical wrongdoings of Columbus, and of attacking Indigenous Peoples Day.
“[I] overheard coworkers complaining about ‘people trying to make today [indigenous peoples' day], it's still Columbus day on fox news though [and] I work in a SCHOOL”, one user wrote.
Another added that Fox News has “been hyping the war on Columbus Day” and that “They had a field day when my school district changed the name of the holiday.”
The Independent has reached out to Fox News for comment.
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