Here’s Why People Want To Abolish Columbus Day
To say that Christopher Columbus is a controversial figure is an understatement. Historically, the 15th-century explorer has been lauded for “discovering” the New World (which he technically didn’t) and changing the world forever. Since 1937, his legacy has been remembered on the second Monday of October with the federal holiday of Columbus Day. But over the past two decades, the conversation has been shifting toward acknowledging the dark history behind his travels — and the question of whether we should celebrate Columbus Day in the first place.
The debate is a heated one. On one hand, Native American groups and allies say Columbus Day celebrates a man who propelled the genocide of indigenous peoples throughout the Americas, promoted the trans-Atlantic slave trade, and is the most distinct example of Western colonialism. To celebrate Christopher Columbus is to annually commemorate how European settlers wiped out indigenous peoples throughout the entire continent — through the spreading of diseases, slavery, and massacres.
That’s why many have advocated for abolishing Columbus Day and replacing it with Indigenous Peoples’ Day or its alternative, Native American Day. By doing so, we would stop sanitizing the legacy of Columbus and start …read more