A couple of dissident groups on the east side of the state want to overturn several of the latest Legislative session’s more egregious missteps. One of those is a simple change in nomenclature, replacing the holiday honoring a certain infamous Italian navigator with “Indigenous People’s Day.” The other is a new law banning coyote-hunting contests. Both, in my view, were intended by our new Democratic governor and Progressive legislative majority as a poke in the eye to those rural Republicans who dominated state government for the previous eight years. Payback’s a bitch.
I’ve got nothing to say about the first initiative, other than that I’m glad we’ve moved on to “Indigenous People” as the accepted appellation for those whose forebears arrived via the Bering Land Bridge rather than from across the Atlantic several millennia later. As someone born and raised here I always felt unfairly excluded by the appropriation of “Native American” by the people we used to call “Indians.” In a way, losing his celebratory day to “Indigenous People” is karmic payback to Chris for his confusion as to where he was and who he was meeting back in 1492.
I’m less sanguine about the Coyote Protection Act (or whatever it’s called). While it doesn’t outright prohibit killing coyotes, some of the rhetoric in the legislative debate seemed to equate predator control with stomping on kittens. Unlike some Albuquerque legislators who apparently know no more of Carnivorous Vulgaris than they learned watching Saturday morning cartoons, I do know something about coyotes and I’m learning more all the time. Here’s a good primer on the carnivore challenging us for the North American “Apex Predator” title.