Society

In PC Move, Indiana City Renames Two Holidays

| by Denise Recalde

The city of Bloomington, Indiana, has renamed Good Friday and Columbus Day as "Spring Holiday" and "Fall Holiday" in a bid to be more culturally sensitive and inclusive.

Mayor John Hamilton, who issued the change on Nov. 18, said the name change would "better reflect cultural sensitivity in the workplace," BBC News reports. 

"We are terrifically proud of our diverse workforce at the city," Hamilton wrote in a memo to city employees, the Daily Mail reports.

"That diversity makes us stronger and more representative of the public we proudly serve. These updated names for two days of well-merited time off is another way we can demonstrate our commitment to inclusivity."

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Bloomington, which has a population of 82,575, is generally liberal, as is Monroe County, of which it is the county seat. The presence of Indiana University partly explains its liberal tilt.   

In the latest presidential election, 58.6 percent of Monroe County residents voted for Democrat Hillary Clinton, which represented 14,000 votes more than Republican President-elect Donald Trump. 

The city's decision to change the name of the two holidays triggered a strong negative response on social media, with critics deeming it an unwelcome act of political correctness.

Posts include: "How is the day Jesus died insensitive?" and "I'm guessing they will next rename Christmas to winter holiday."

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All Bloomington city employees get paid time off for Columbus Day, a federal holiday, and Good Friday, which is a state-celebrated holiday. 

Many Christians observe Good Friday on the Friday before Easter Sunday -- the day Jesus Christ was crucified by the Romans. 

Columbus Day is celebrated on Oct. 12 and marks the discovery of the Americas by Italian explorer Christopher Columbus in 1492.

Critics of the celebration of Columbus Day have called for a more politically correct approach to the holiday since his arrival marked the beginning of centuries of genocide and oppression for Native Americans. The movement to replace the holiday with one that celebrates the Native American peoples of the continent has been active since 1977.

A few U.S. states have given Columbus Day another name out of respect for the indigenous population of the country.

Sources: Daily Mail, BBC News / Photo credit: Kenneth C. Zirkel/Wikimedia Commons

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