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‘Social Justice Consultant’: Symbols of Columbus Cause Suicides

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The testimony was loud and clear at a Los Angeles City council meeting Wednesday, as Chrissie Castro of the LA City-County Native American Indian Commission testified.

“We have the highest rate of youth suicide. The American Psychological Association (APA) has determined that their dehumanizing symbols, such as Columbus, are part of the cause for that. We must stop that now,” Castro said.

The audience applauded Castro’s testimony at its conclusion. They may not have been aware the APA said no such thing.

“No, APA has not taken any position with respect to Columbus, nor have we made any statements regarding suicides being tied to ‘dehumanizing symbols,’" Kim Mills of the APA tells the MRC in an email. “The speaker was mistaken.”

Castro, who is described by the Social Transformation Project as a “social justice consultant working on national and international issues of equity for all peoples,” also argued that holding an “Indigenous Peoples Day” on any day other than Columbus Day would be an “injustice.”

“A few city council members want us to choose a different day. I’m here to let you know that the millions of indigenous people that are in Los Angeles cannot and will not accept that.”

Later she added, “To make us celebrate (Indigenous Peoples Day) on any other day would be a further injustice on a very long line of injustices that have been perpetrated against our people.”

The measure to replace Columbus Day with Indigenous Peoples Day in L.A. passed with a 14-to-1 vote.

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