The idea of America continuing to celebrate Christopher Columbus is a painful topic within Native American societies. It is hard to justify why a country that prides itself on diversity would continue this “holiday.”
The idea that Christopher Columbus was a brave explorer who discovered the Americas is one of the biggest misconceptions within our country’s history. Not only did he discover nothing, seeing as there is archeological evidence that America was discovered long before Columbus was around, he actually never set foot in the continental U.S. The truth is he set out to find China, and instead landed in Guanahani, which was inhabited by the Taino natives. He then enslaved, tortured, raped and killed these people.
This ruthlessness set the tone for how Europeans dealt with other native people they encountered along their journeys. Columbus alone is responsible for hundreds of thousands if not millions of deaths. This mass genocide still heartbreakingly echoes throughout the native peoples of today. That is why there is a cry out for justice and recognition of the truth.
It is time to put Columbus Day to rest, and pay tribute to the indigenous people taken from us so long ago.
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Tiffani Guthrie, Richland