Today is Columbus Day and there have been many movements to #ReconsiderColumbusDay and replace the controversial holiday with Indigenous Peoples Day. Why is Columbus Day controversial? For many reasons. For example, in history class in the U.S, we were taught the he was hero for having “discovered” the American continent, and that he proved to us that the world was not flat but round. It had been at least 500 years since Europe had known and accepted the fact that the world is indeed a sphere and not a disk. And yes, he was an explorer, but not everybody would call him a hero. Little are aware of, or at least, many choose to ignore the fact that he was a colonist and a slave trader. He had burnt down Taino settlements, executed chiefs in front of entire villages, and exploited the natural resources as well as the Natives of Hispaniola and Cuba.
Now, what are we to do? I suggest that we change the name, tradition and concept of Columbus Day, and celebrate the culture and life of the indigenous people of the American continent. How can we do so? First of all, attempt to remove racist and discriminatory laws against Native Americans in Canada, Guatemala, Mexico and especially the United States. Laws making it illegal for public school teachers or students to teach native language and culture in a class, for example, or to resolve the U.S-Mexico border conflict tearing native tribes apart, such as the O’doham Reservation in southern Arizona. This proposed holiday would also be a good time to begin learning a native dialect or culture that has great importance to you. The new holiday should acknowledge the pride we have for our continent, and at the same time celebrate Indigenous culture and history.
Show your support for Indigenous People’s Day using #IndigenousPeoplesDay and #ReconsiderColumbusDay on your social media. Spread the word that the holiday has got to go and that it will soon, and defend your support for Indigenous Peoples Day using historical facts explaining why Columbus is not so much of a hero.