From the October 6 edition of Fox News' Tucker Carlson Tonight:
TUCKER CARLSON (HOST): I am really interested in the idea behind this. It sounds like the city council of Portland is sending the message it would have been better if the Europeans hadn’t come to America in the first place and that's why they are eliminating Columbus Day.
SPENCER THIBODEAU: Well Tucker, let me tell you we’re not, that's not what the city council is doing. In fact, that would be going against, I am a bi-racial guy man and that would be actually going against and trying to discount half of who I am which is not what we were doing. What was proposed by my fellow counselor, Counselor Ali was a proposal to recognize Indigenous Peoples Day. As you know, a municipality can't usurp what the federal government put in place since 1937. The Columbus holiday remains. The city of Portland though recognizes Indigenous People's Day.
CARLSON: How many indigenous peoples are there in Maine?
THIBODEAU: Well I can tell you we are one of the least diverse states in the country. But look we don't have many African-Americans in this state. But that doesn't make us celebrate black history month any less. What this is about is recognizing the fact that indigenous people and Christopher Columbus are connected. You can't talk about the history of indigenous people without talking about the history of Columbus. Can’t talk about the history of Columbus without talking about indigenous people. This allows people to recognize the holiday as they see fit. And I think it was a reasonable proposal that the council took up.
CARLSON: Well they eliminated Christopher Columbus from the holiday. But my question really is about indigenous people and caring about them and the holiday. So you are saying we care a lot about indigenous people so I’m just asking how many are there? How many Maine Indian tribes can you name?
THIBODEAU: Sure. There are a number. There are the Wabanakee who actually were on the peninsula, the city of Portland before the settlers got here. There are a number of others. The Penobscot Indian Nation up north. There are a number of native-Americans in our communities. Can you name every single native-American who you walk by on the street? We’re a melting pot.
CARLSON: Oh no, I can't. I agree with that. But here's the point. There are a number of reservations in the state. I spent a lot of time near one, Passamaquoddy reservation and they are really hurting. So I guess what bothers me is the symbolic nature of this. Presumably, there are American Indians in Portland you could be helping but you guys spent a ton of time on this. There are also a lot of heroin addicts right downtown in Portland in case you haven’t noticed.
THIBODEAU: I’ve definitely noticed the opioid crisis.
CARLSON: It’s terrible it’s absolutely terrible. So why waste your time with symbolic stuff like this?