Sen. Kamala D. Harris said Monday that she would support efforts on the federal level to change the second Monday in October from Columbus Day to “Indigenous Peoples Day.”
“Count me in,” Ms. Harris said at a town hall meeting in Portsmouth, where she was asked whether she would back legislation, like a proposal making its way through the New Hampshire state legislature, that calls for the change.
Ms. Harris, California Democrat, is considered one of the early front-runners in the race for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination.
At a town hall-style meeting on Monday, Ms. Harris voiced her support for Medicare for All, efforts to combat climate change encapsulated in the “Green New Deal” and providing a pathway to citizenship for illegal immigrants.
When asked about an ongoing effort to rename Columbus Day in New Hampshire, Ms. Harris touted a bill that passed the Senate last week that she helped author that would make lynching a federal crime.
“People did not want to deal and accept and most importantly admit that we are the scene of a crime when it comes to what we did with slavery and Jim Crow and institutionalized racism in this country, and we have to be honest about that,” she said, sparking applause from the crowd. “If we are not honest, we are not going to deal with the vestiges of all of that harm, and we are not going to correct course, and we are not going to be true to our values and morals.”
“Similarly when it comes to indigenous Americans, the indigenous people, there is a lot of work that we still have to do, and I appreciate and applaud your point and your effort, and count me in on support,” Ms. Harris said.
• Seth McLaughlin can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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