Jeanine Lawson, GMU opening

Prince William County Supervisor Jeanine Lawson speaks at the groundbreaking ceremony for Innovation Town Center and an expansion of George Mason University's Science and Technology Campus in April 2022.

The Prince William Board of County Supervisors voted 6-1-1 on Oct. 11 to recognize Indigenous Peoples Day rather than Christopher Columbus Day. 

Supervisor Jeanine Lawson voted no, and Supervisor Yesli Vega abstained as she does on all such recognitions.

Lawson opposed the change, saying it’s led by people who want to “demonize western civilization” and “cancel culture.”

She didn’t like that the resolution said many have forgotten the tribes who were in North America when European settlement began and were decimated by colonization. 

“I think that Americans by and large are very sensitive to that, very aware of it, and frankly I think this is … more cancel culture,” she said. “Christopher Columbus obviously is recognized as the explorer who landed here in the New World first.”

Scholars have generally accepted that Norse explorer Leif Erikson was the first European to land in North America, about 500 years before Columbus. Evidence of a settlement established in Newfoundland, Canada, was unearthed in the 1960s.

Nolan Stout covers Prince William County. Reach him at nstout@insidenova.com or @TheNolanStout on Facebook and Twitter.

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(27) comments

Allen Muchnick

Considering the hateful and ignorant comments posted here by those opposed to recognizing Indigenous Peoples Day, it's long past time to publicly acknowledge--even if only on one day each year--that the colonization of the "New World" by European settlers was associated with racist population displacement, enslavement, and mass genocide of the existing inhabitants.

Christopher Columbus was a vile racist who never set foot anywhere in the continental United States. Any recognition of this explorer should include the full historical context.

George Lawton IV

Allen, just for the record 😂😂. Secondly, the Indians were slaughtering each other for hundreds of years before a single White man set foot in this hemisphere. You’re a 🤡

Robert Dale

Ha. Good one, InsideNova.

The article which told me about the victory for the long-oppressed Native American people is framed in such a way as to focus on the one person who opposed it. Classy.

No matter. A big congratulations to any and all Native Americans for earning the recognition they deserve as the original colonials of this land.

Harry Morant

Original Colonials, yes. Humans originated in Africa, so all this boo-hooing about "natives" is nothing but another wedge to divide us. Typical of the sick & twisted, progressives, whose primary raison d'être is control. They hate nothing more than peace and contentment, and veil their evil intents in a cloak of "diversity". Vile creatures.

Robert Dale

"Veil their evil intents in a cloak of 'diversity'" is a funny way to say lie.

I would have to believe people who create political divides are simply misguided, using it as a tool to protect what they think is theirs. Lots of people have no business owning (much less being given control over) all that they think they own.

"Vile" creatures? Yeesh. Talk about dividing wedges!

John Dutko

I'm not saying you're racist, but all racists agree with what you say.

Paul Benedict

Actually evidence suggests that there were multiple waves of humans migrating to the Americas from Asia, and possibly lesser arrivals from Polynesian Islands and Africa. These various groups fought each other for millennia before the first Europeans showed up. These groups hated each other. They killed, tortured, and enslaved each other just like all other peoples around the world. Some of these groups offered their own children as sacrifices to appease their gods. Using Leftist logic recognizing an Indigenous People's Day glorifies racism and bigotry.

Robert Dale

Huh? So: Native Americans are supposedly bad because they participated in organized war, they had slaves, and they may have performed a kind of human sacrifice.

You would like to believe that the European Colonials had no hatred towards one another? That they didn't sacrifice human life--that of the Natives, whom they did mot view as human?

You try to posit a moral high ground--and fail. If both Colonials and Natives were both ancient savages of similar magnitudes, what is your point, exactly? Oh, I forgot to re-read your last sentence. You should be embarrassed--your agenda is showing.

Paul Benedict

My goodness, you certainly have a reading comprehension issue. What I actually said in different words is that the Americans that were in the Americas before the Europeans came are just like other peoples around the world, with a violent hate-filled and bigoted history. Pretending they are different is racist. What part of "They killed, tortured, and enslaved each other just like all other peoples around the world" do you not understand? Did I claim a higher ground? No, I just pointed out the hypocrisy of the left.

John Dutko

You do know that there is multiple instances of human sacrifices in the Bible, right?

At least the Native Americans worshipped the Sun, something that they could actually see and provided actual benefits for life on Earth.

Mike Hunt

Diversity. Equity. Inclusion.

George Lawton IV

Look at their school calendar, it’s what hell looks like in a multicultural society where everyone hates everyone, standards are so dumbed down, kids are stupid but trained only to be SJW automatons.

Dick Grayson

Can’t wait for those “indigenous” clowns to open an Indian casino, least they could do since they lost most of their land….dummies

John Dutko

You get a kick making fun of minorities, right?

Dick Grayson

Nah, only those who claim victimhood at every turn! Yep you must work for Fed Govt, clown or should I say lil dutfuk

John Dutko

Sure call me that, but you get to be lil dicksuk.

Take advantage of your proximity to the National Museum of the American Indian and go learn about how the Federal Government reneged on sovereign tribal agreements up until the 1990s.

https://americanindian.si.edu/

Or you can be ignorant and continue to be your loathsome self.

Harry Morant

"Scholars have generally accepted that Norse explorer Leif Erikson was the first European to land in North America, about 500 years before Columbus." So it should be renamed Leif Erikson Day! But that is just another evil white guy, we can't have that, it wouldn't fit the Progressive-Socialist-Communist Agenda to destroy America.

John Dutko

Italy is Socialist.

John Dutko

Some of my favorite excerpts from Columbus's journal are when he justified forcing Christianity on the Native Americans and making the case for slavery.

But you know, "Cancel Culture" is the mantra of the right when they don't want to be held accountable.

George Lawton IV

Thank God he did too. I’m sure they enjoy flush toilets, and electricity and everything else that followed Colombus to the western world. Christianity equals civilization.

Duke Nukem

"They want to put y'all back in the teepee"-Joe Biden, probably.

John Dutko

Man, if Columbus was such a big deal, why did it take extensive lobbying from Italians to make it a holiday? Italians in 1892 were being marginalized because they were immigrants and vilified by people like yourself, so President Harrison observed it as a holiday for political reasons after a mob lynching of 11 Italians.

It's a BS holiday under BS circumstances.

Why not celebrate Amerigo Vespucci? The guy "America" was named after.

But now that you opened the forum, how does Christianity = Civilization?

Alexander Gutierrez

fun fact: the Aztecs had better plumbing and hygiene than the Europeans that came in. Read a history book

Duke Nukem

Do you still wear a mask?

John Dutko

Only around mouth-breathers like yourself.

Dick Grayson

Must be obese, fried food eater and a sponge off real tax payers

John Dutko

@ Dick

Better than a person with a scat fetish like you.

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