It was in second grade where I learned that Christopher Columbus sailed the Atlantic Ocean in the Niña, the Pinta and the Santa Maria. The year was 1973 and the school was Coral Way Elementary located in Miami-Dade County. The same county where 50 years later, the Miami-Dade Board of County Commissioners would vote 12-0 to declare the second Monday in October of the current year (2023), Miccosukee Day, and the second Monday in October of every year after, Indigenous Peoples’ Day.
Since there has been numerous municipalities across the country canceling Columbus Day and replacing it with Indigenous Peoples’ Day, I was not surprised that this resolution was brought forth in Miami-Dade County. Only one person spoke in favor of this resolution during the September 19th commission meeting. Talbert Cypress, Chairman of the Miccosukee Tribe, who said that “this resolution empowers Indigenous people from all corners of the world to be proud of their history and heritage.” There was no opposition to this resolution even though these types of “social justice” topics always make the national news. The resolution was poorly written because to oppose the renaming of Columbus Day in Miami-Dade County starting in 2024 would also oppose Miccosukee Day in 2023.
The Miami-Dade County Commission is made up of thirteen commissioners --- two White, five Black and six Hispanic. One would think that the commissioners of Hispanic descent would vote against this resolution or, at the very least, offer some counter arguments. However, all Miami-Dade County Commissioners voted in favor of the resolution except for one who was excused. It is important to note that although the position of commissioner is a non-partisan one, ideology plays a role in the resolutions that are enacted.
Unfortunately, the Miami-Dade Board of County Commissioners has taken a Left turn. In 2021, the Miami-Dade County Commission renamed Dixie Highway to Harriet Tubman Highway and, in 2023, it has renamed Columbus Day to Indigenous Peoples’ Day. Although it is easy to lay all the blame on the commissioners, the electorate is responsible for its lack of involvement. If WE THE PEOPLE of Miami-Dade County do not get involved in local politics, the Left will continue to make strides like they have done in other major cities starting with the renaming of holidays followed by the toppling of statues. Miami-Dade County has a statue of Christopher Columbus located at Bayfront Park. This statue was spraypainted in the summer of 2020 with a hammer and sickle following the death of George Floyd. Will the Miami-Dade County Commission acquiesce to its removal when the Left targets it next?
The Miami-Dade Board of County Commissioners had an opportunity to make national news by being the first county in the United States to acknowledge its multiculturalism by embracing both Columbus Day and Indigenous Peoples’ Day. However, the commissioners chose “cancel culture.” Will WE THE PEOPLE cancel the Miami-Dade County Mayor and several of the commissioners that are up for re-election in 2024?
I don’t know for certain if the Christopher Columbus statue or the Miami-Dade County Mayor are future targets. The one thing I know for certain is what I learned from my second grade teacher which was that “in 1492 Columbus sailed the ocean blue” and in his journey discovered the New World and with it brought Western civilization to the Americas.
Happy Columbus Day!