We’ve called this “Columbus Day.”
But it turns out he was a savage man,
racist, violent, selfish and abusive.
The land he “discovered” was somebody else’s,
but he took it anyway,
along with a few hundred lives,
and few hundred slaves.
So what do we do when our hero
turns out to be the bad guy,
the one who personifies our sin?
We name it. We confess our mistake.
We repent. We turn toward reparation.
Today I invite you to honor Indigenous People’s Day.
One simple thing you can do:
Learn where you live.
Look up the name of the people who lived where you are
before the Europeans came.
Learn how to say hello in their language.
(Yes, you in Canada and South Africa and Australia and New Zealand, you too.)
I live in the land of the Wampanoag people.
Their greeting is “Wuneekeesuq.”
It’s a tiny thing.
But it’s a step,
a step toward honoring the right people.
October 14, 2019