CUSTER’S BACK BABY!
Or at least Bismarck's Custer Park is back in the conversation for a spell. It'll be a topic that hit's the headlines at least once a year on each and every Columbus Day. As we all learned in school, Columbus and crews "discovered" America back in 1492. Many people have taken offense to the notion that you could discover an area and a population of people that already existed.
Columbus was a slave owner (who wasn't?) and seemed to deal quite harshly with native populations (didn't everybody?). But, Christopher Columbus personally is probably not the catalyst for change, it's instead what "discovering" America means to those whose forefathers where here long before the Pinta, The Nina, and the Santa Maria arrived on our shore. There was a movement that began back in the 1990's to change the way Columbus Day was being observed. It was South Dakota in 1990, that was the first to change the name to "Native American Day". That's a pretty liberal move, having just been to South Dakota...I think a lot of things must have changed in the last 30 years. It was just two years later in 1992, the much more liberal Berkeley California introduced Indigenous Peoples Day and now 14 states have officially adopted that change.
So, once you take Columbus out of the equation...for some reason Custer's name comes flying out. Probably because he was such a dick to indigenous people. Community members have wanted Custer's name removed from a local park. So there was a nice rally on Sunday, supporting a name change. The problem is, a year ago the change was proposed to the Bismarck Park Board, who unanimously shot it down! Speaking of being a dick, they then initiated some "process" which would deny any further proposals to rename the park for another 15 years.
So we'll here about this again...maybe same time next year.