October 20

Should America Celebrate Christopher Columbus?

October 9th is known as Columbus Day. This day is supposed to celebrate Christopher Columbus and the date in which he first stepped foot in the Americas.

When people usually hear the name “Christopher Columbus” they think of the first person who arrived to North America. However this is a false conclusion.

First of all Christopher Columbus wasn’t even the first European to step foot in North American soil. Nearly 500 years before Columbus (1000 A.D.) a band of Vikings established a settlement in the Americas. This group of explorers landed in a place they claimed “Vinland” (present day Newfoundland, Canada).

It is predicted that dating back to 60,000 years ago the first people from Eurasia migrated over on the Baring Straight (a land bridge connecting Eurasia and North America) into the Americas! The latest that people could have migrated over from Eurasia was 12,000 years ago. Both of these dates are way before the band of vikings was recorded to have come over.

To add to all of that, in 1937 Columbus Day was established as a federal holiday. The holiday was meant to celebrate “the man who founded America”. He didn’t though! He landed in the Bahamas and named it San Salvador. San Salvador is in Central America not the United States.

Not only was Columbus falsely titled he also was not a great person…

From his own journal-  “I could conquer the whole of them with fifty men, and govern them as I please.” Referring to the “weak” Native Americans.

He also demanded things from the Natives. Things such as treasure, food, and other personal things. If they refused, he ordered their noses and ears to be cut of as a warning.

Don’t forget he also took 500 Lucayans with him to be sold has slaves, after they rebelled against Columbus and his men.

If America wants to celebrate this date as a holiday we should change the premise behind it. Holidays are meant as a day of celebration. It doesn’t seem very patriotic to celebrate a man of disrespect. A man of no values. A man of prejudice values.

If America truly wants to “celebrate” this holiday, then we as a confederacy should change a few things. For one kids should be taught at a young age who Columbus really was, and how what he did impacted and destroyed tons, and tons, and tons of innocent lives. Secondly a new federal holiday should be passed. This day should celebrate the first Native Americans, and the ones that were impacted by Columbus’s exploration. As Americans we should be grateful for this culture since they were the first to the Americas. The point is not to erase history, however correct it.

After all he’s not just a sailor who traveled in 1492 on the big blue.