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Columbus Day +: PC fever strikes Durham

September 13. 2017 12:15AM

There’s been an outbreak of politically correct fever in Durham, but don’t blame the students at UNH. The fever is threatening to overtake the town, not the campus.

A handful of residents have complained about a mural at the Durham Post Office depicting a Native American man about to burn down a settler’s house. The scene is from the Oyster River Massacre of 1694. It’s been hanging there since the 1950s without causing any problems, but history itself has become offensive to some.

The Durham town council is considering a proposal to add The Age of Exploration and Indigenous People’s Day to Columbus Day. That rolls off the tongue.

It’s part of the long-running effort to recast Christopher Columbus as a villain. Columbus’ expeditions were among the most important events in world history. They sparked a wave of European emigration to the New World that reshaped civilization.

The bloody conflicts between settlers and native peoples need not be ignored as we mark Columbus Day once a year.

Durham councilors will revisit the holday naming debate next week. The post office can provide material supplementing the historic murals, but the council should leave Columbus Day alone.

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