Columbus Day: Insensitive and Pointless

Mary Miller, Editor

Columbus Day, celebrating the alleged discovery of the new world by Italian explorer Christopher Columbus, has just passed, allowing for the debate over its celebration to commence once again. 

However, instead of celebrations, Americans should be asking themselves if there should be a national holiday dedicated to a man who is both directly and indirectly, responsible for the rapes, enslavement, and untimely deaths of thousands upon thousands of Native Americans.

Should we put aside the comfort and generational trauma of those who lived in America before us so that we can have a day off of school? 

Is it worth it for what the day represents? 

Taking place on the second Monday of October every year, Columbus Day became a national holiday in 1937. When the holiday began, the general population was ignorant to the indignities that Indigenous people had to face at the hands of Columbus. Now, however, in a time of social enlightenment, there is no excuse.

Columbus was a horrible person who not only took credit for something he didn’t even actually discover, but he helped to wipe out and oppress almost an entire population of people who lived on the land that he selfishly wanted for himself and his people.

For indigenous people, this day celebrates their traumatic history, and people (by people I mean everyone who’s not a Native American) ignore how problematic the holiday is, as if it doesn’t affect them. If we’re getting a free day off of work or school, then the “why” shouldn’t really matter, right?

This should not be ignored out of convenience. Injustices can not be excused over and over again by both white people and other non-Native Americans just because it doesn’t pertain to them directly.

Columbus Day should not be a national holiday and we should not get to take advantage of the fact that indigenous people have had to suffer at the hands of this historical monster. 

Rather than celebrating the man who helped to commit genocide, we should dedicate this day to those who survived him.