Why We Shouldn't Celebrate Columbus Day

Every Columbus Day I am forcibly reminded of my hatred for Christopher Columbus. I remember learning about Columbus as a young child and I was in awe learning about the explorer. Everything that he did sounded like it was so whimsical and as a young child yearning for an adventure I idolized him. When I got to high school and learned the truth about Columbus I felt betrayed. Why would an academic system praise someone who was so blatantly evil? So partly, out of spite, here are a few reasons why Columbus Day shouldn’t be celebrated.

  1. 1. You can’t discover a place that is inhabited by people.

    Yeah. Sorry, Mr. I discovered America. But you didn’t discover a place that was already inhabited by a peaceful group of people. It not only invalidates the legitimacy of the native’s people claim to their land but also projects the notion that the natives aren’t people at all. If I sailed to Italy and said that I discovered this land in the name of Rowan University it wouldn’t fly right?

  2. 2. ...And Columbus actually never stepped on American soil.

    But here’s the kicker. Columbus never stepped foot on North American soil. And yet he is given an American holiday for discovering America…Yeah I’ll wait for that to make sense.

  3. 3. He actively enslaved people.

    Listen I know almost everyone celebrated in history enslaved people. But I think considering the fact that Columbus also enslaved a group of people who were otherwise peaceful to him should be noted.

  4. 4. It’s blatantly disrespectful to celebrate the start of colonialism and genocide.

    Yes, this guy didn’t commit genocide. But the fact of the matter is that he started the colonialism within North America, enslaved groups of people, and laid out the groundwork for others to do the same is damning. It’d be ludicrous to say that Columbus wasn’t guilty by association.

  5. 5. It teaches children a false history of the Americas.

    I don’t think that we should start children’s education by saying that the country is built on the genocide of a group and the enslavement of another. That’s a lesson for later. But it’s hard for children to understand that someone who they were taught to idolize is a bad guy. We need to set the record straight early on. 

  6. 6. In a racially equal world, Columbus shouldn’t be celebrated.

    In an era where we are fighting for racial equality celebrating false heroes is detrimental to progress.

  7. 7. We should celebrate Indigenous People’s Day instead.

    Why should we celebrate a man who promoted and distributed so much violence when we can celebrate and honor the history of Indigenous people?

It’s 2020 people. Let’s stop idolizing people in history who don’t deserve it.