BLACK: Indigenous Peoples Day: Why I don’t live in LA

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The Los Angeles City Council recently voted to remove Columbus Day from the city’s list of holidays. These politically correct thought police voted 14-1 to make the second Monday in October a holiday to honor indigenous people. The day will now be called Indigenous Peoples Day.

Consulting a dictionary, the definition of indigenous is: “Originating or occurring naturally in a particular place.” If this definition is accepted, the only indigenous people on this earth are those who originated in Africa. All others are migrants, including you and me. That would also include so-called Native Americans, who traversed the Bering Straits a few centuries before other “Native Americans” arrived from the other side of the continent.

Eric the Red’s ancestors are said to have come to North America from present day Europe, perhaps about the same time the Indigenous People were meandering around present-day Alaska.

Who knows? That would be the Los Angeles City Council. Part of their decision was based on the fact that the state of California, according to the council: “...has the highest population of Native Americans in the United States.”

At the risk of beating a dead horse, no one in America is an indigenous person. We are immigrants, in one way or another.

To protect my potentially politically incorrect hide, I hereby claim: I am part Native American. This declaration grants me politically correct immunity. My family tells me my great-great grandmother was a Native American Indian.

I think this claim might be part of our family’s myths. But I do have an old photograph of my great-grandmother, the daughter of my Native American ancestor. I tell my relatives she more closely resembles a Balkan refugee than a noble Native American, but they will have none of it. So, I acquiesce to family folklore.

Even discounting the idea of my being eligible to own part of a casino, I urge the Los Angeles City Council to proclaim a holiday to honor other aspects of my heritage.

I am also of Irish/Scotch/English heritage. Therefore, I proclaim to the City Council — which spends its time on ridiculous matters while the city’s infrastructure collapses: I want a holiday to celebrate my other roots. Those would be on a Friday, as I would like a three-day respite from my job: Irish Day, Scot Day. No, I am both; so Irish/Scot Day. No, I am also part Oklahoma Cherokee Native American; so Irish/Scot/Indigenous Peoples Day.

It gets complicated. My grandmother on my mother’s side told me she had French heritage. Her surname was Rogers. Sure enough, “Rogers” has a touch of French to its heritage.

Therefore, I insist the Los Angeles City Council set aside a specific holiday to honor, with time off for all city employees: (a) Irish Day; (b) Scot Day; (c) Irish/Scot Day; (d) Irish/Scot/Indigenous Peoples Day; (e) French/Irish/Scot/Indigenous Peoples Day.

I could go on, and I have barely crossed the English Channel. So could the inanity of the Los Angeles City Council.

• • •

Uyless Black is a distant Native American, of circumspect ancestry, who resides in Hayden with his wife Holly and their non-American French poodle, Milli.

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