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Editorial: It’s Time To End Columbus Day

Elena Lee, Reporter

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Imagine celebrating a holiday dedicated to someone who was responsible for the enslavement of an entire nation, taking advantage of the people inhabiting any land they may have discovered. Picture that same person practically wiping out an entire population in 25 years.

That person was Christopher Columbus.

Columbus was a European explorer who set out to find a direct water route west from Europe to Asia, in hopes of achieving the extensive wealth and fame that would come from the trade able goods there.

When Columbus made landfall in the Bahamas, the native people greeted him and his men openly with friendly intentions. Columbus spent months looking for the “great wealth” the land was said to have; however only finding a small portion of it, he took a small group of the natives prisoner and insisted they guide him to the source of the gold. Later, Columbus allowed his men to use the native women as currency, trading them around, as well as beating and raping them.

This is simply the first in a laundry list of atrocities linked to Columbus.  Is this man worthy of a national holiday?

The United States has a grand total of 3 federal holidays dedicated to specific people. These being, Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Presidents’ Day, and Columbus Day. According to The National Archives, these holidays are in honor of: Rv. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., George Washington, and Christopher Columbus. America should not have a federal holiday in honor of someone responsible for mass genocide.

It is time to change that. Whether you believe the name should be changed to Indigenous Peoples Day, Native Peoples Day, or simply just Monday. According to an article written by Time Magazine, in 1994, The United Nations declared that October 9 be recognized as International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples, and in 2014, Seattle and Minneapolis voted to replace Columbus Day, and instead celebrate Indigenous People’s Day.

The reason behind the name change is based on the Native Peoples. In honor and memory of the natives that were already inhabiting the lands that Columbus “discovered,” the second Monday of October, has been rededicated to the lands original inhabitants.

Contact your state’s representatives and tell them to bring an end Columbus Day, and replace it with Indigenous People’s Day, to honour the people who really discovered the “New World.”

 

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Editorial: It’s Time To End Columbus Day