It’s gonna be a great day pic.twitter.com/MEpTzi59Hk
— |L I Z Z O| (@lizzo) October 9, 2017
Once again “Columbus Day” is here and the internet is rehashing something that we should already know: Christopher Columbus was a terrible person and this day should be gone. No worries, you can keep your three day holiday, just instead of paying tribute to the beginning of genocide, celebrate the Native population that has survived despite hundreds of years of oppression.
According to TIME: Minnesota, Vermont, Alaska and South Dakota officially celebrate Indigenous Peoples’ Day (Native American Day) and over 50 cities have followed suit. Recently in Los Angeles County a 4-1 vote was passed by the Board of Supervisors that will have all official documents and calenders changed by 2019, says Newsweek. For some this action and others like it are trying to “erase history” and that this is just another way to say Europeans are bad.
Removing Columbus Day is not about erasing history, it is about correcting something that was always a problem.
On this day in 1492, America discovered smallpox, racism, subjugation, and the Bible. #ColumbusDay
— God (@TheTweetOfGod) October 9, 2017
Columbus Day was established as a federal holiday in 1937 to celebrate the fact that he founded America. Well he didn’t, which has already been confirmed by scholars, regardless of whatever poems we were told in kindergarten.
If Columbus discovering America is “fake news”, why are we as a society so defensive towards just being done with him? Well, the lone “no” vote on the aforementioned bill was an L.A councilman, who saw the removal as a “slap on the face” to Italian-Americans. Um, if Columbus being Italian mattered really to the American public conscious maybe America wouldn’t have treated Italians as “alien” ethic others during the 20th century?
Christopher Columbus does not represent all of Italians or Italy ( his expedition was done for Spain with Spain’s money so #heaintloyal). He does represent an era of colonization that started the death of millions of Native peoples who suffer the consequences of that to this day. That’s the uncomfortable truth of colonization that isn’t about being “haters” and “losers”, as one twitter user so tactfully put it. Yes, the history of the world is filled with nations taking and pillaging from others, but that does not make the near genocide of millions alright.
— Not Elizabeth (@NotElizabeth88) October 9, 2017
Do yourself a favor and read any of the first-hand accounts of the Trail of Tears.
In addition to that, the disparities going on in Native communities are not in the past, it has become a part of our nation’s framework. It has allowed Native Women to suffer sexual abuse and violence at a disproportionately high rate, according to Futures Without Violence, with 1-in-3 Native women being raped in their lifetime. Aggravating matters is that tribal courts can not prosecute non-tribal members for crimes like rape, with non-Native American men committing the majority of those assaults.
That isn’t the past, that is today.
Instead of clinging to a false image of the past, we must look to the present and recognize that the scars of our nation will never be healed until we are able to separate history from bullshit.
Removing Columbus is not about removing history or being unpatriotic, it is about turning something painful into a celebration of the history and perseverance of Americans. Indigenous Americans.
— Keegan Stephan (@KeeganNYC) October 12, 2015
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