Indigenous Peoples Day? Italians say stick with Columbus

Columbus day is Monday

FILE - In this Oct. 13, 2014, file photo, a marching band participates in the Columbus Day parade in New York. A movement to abolish Columbus Day and replace it with Indigenous Peoples Day has new momentum but the gesture to recognize victims of European colonialism has also prompted howls of outrage from some Italian Americans, who say eliminating their festival of ethnic pride is culturally insensitive, too. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig, File)

NEW YORK (AP) – A movement to abolish Columbus Day and replace it with Indigenous Peoples Day is gaining momentum.

Los Angeles recently became the biggest city yet to stop honoring the Italian explorer. Austin, Texas, followed suit last week.

But the gesture to recognize victims of European colonialism has also outraged Italian-Americans.

They say eliminating their festival of ethnic pride is culturally insensitive.

The debate over Columbus’ legacy is an old one, but it became emotionally charged after a similar debate in the South over monuments to Confederate generals flared into violence at a rally in Charlottesville, Virginia.

One attempt to dump Columbus Day in Akron, Ohio, opened a racial rift on the city council.

In New York City, where 35,000 people will march in Monday’s Columbus Day parade, vandals recently doused a Columbus statue in red paint.