On Columbus Day, Columbia University unveiled a plaque that is seemingly apologetic for colonization:
The plaque, situated on a popular campus courtyard, reads: “The Lenape lived here before and during colonization of the Americas. This plaque recognizes these indigenous people of Manhattan, their displacement, dispossession, and continued presence.”
The plaque makes no mention of the fact that Manhattan was purchased from the Native Americans by Dutch settlers in the early 1600s, a swath of land which, at the time, was an undeveloped muddy swampland.
The plaque’s unveiling ceremony was held Oct. 10 — Columbus Day. It appears to be a capitulation to various campus demands over the years for an official recognition of the “Lenape People” — who sold Manhattan to the settlers — as well as an acknowledgment of some sort that the Native Americans were wronged by the deal.