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Should We Celebrate Columbus Day or Indigenous Peoples Day?

by Christopher N. Malagisi

It feels like every year when we approach the annual Columbus Day holiday, the revisionist Politically Correct brigade likes to obfuscate or erase history, rather than teach it.  Like the recent national Confederate monument controversy, it’s once again important to remind us all why we celebrate a holiday, like Columbus Day, in the first place.

Everyone knows the story of Columbus setting sail in the year 1492 in search of a western trade sea route to India, and instead discovers the New World.  They did this with many fearing that they’d sail off the ends of the earth, or what was known as the Flat Earth theory.

Columbus sailed four times between the years of 1492-1502 and helped establish and document routes to the Americas, and began the enduring relationship between the world’s most influential landmasses in modern history.  It was because of his discovery that emboldened explorers from Europe and around the world to seek out a new life in a new land.

While not the first to discover the Americas (Leif Erickson is credited for discovering North America in the 11th century), it began a period of brave western exploration, colonization, international trade, the spreading of Christianity, and would ultimately lead to the greatest democratic creation in human history.

While Columbus Day was celebrated in the US unofficially all the way back to colonial times, it was not formally recognized as a national holiday until 1937, during the presidency of FDR.  It has since not only become a patriotic American holiday, but also one that is celebrated as a day of pride and heritage by Italian-Americans, as Columbus’ ancestry was Italian.  It should be noted though that he sailed under the banner of Spain, since the Spanish King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella financed his voyages.

It should also be noted that Columbus Day is not just celebrated in America but all around the world as an expression of human flourishing, exploration, and patriotism. Many countries in Latin America also celebrate it as the “Dia de la Raza” – the “Day of the Races,” and in Spain as the “Día de la Hispanidad,” and have erected numerous statues and monuments recognizing Columbus and his spirit of exploration.

Around the time of the 500th anniversary celebration of Columbus’ voyage in 1992, some historians began implicating Columbus in a series of calamities that befell much of the indigenous American populations.  Much of this is chronicled in the controversial and nefarious portrayal of American history in The People’s History of the United States, written by Howard Zinn.  (We strongly encourage you though to read Larry Schweikert’s The Patriot’s History of the United States).

A Patriot's History of the United States: From Columbus's Great Discovery to America’s Age of EntitlementEven the most ardent supporters of Columbus would readily admit that his legacy is mixed.  It’s fair to say that European migration to the Americas brought widespread disease, spearheaded the slave trade, and elicited poor treatment towards the natives, some at the hand of Columbus himself.

With this recognition, many have begun a movement to re-purpose the Columbus Day holiday as an “Indigenous Peoples Day” celebration, promoting Native American history and culture, but with many undertones discrediting Columbus’ achievements, and if we’re being fair, even ignoring certain negative aspects of Native American history as well.

In an act of defiance, the Los Angeles City Council recently voted to change Columbus Day to “Indigenous Peoples Day.”  In LA, Chicago, and NYC, statues of Columbus have been covered up or defaced.  Like the confederate monument controversy, this seems like another attempt to erase history, rather than teach it, and teach all sides.

While not excusing any of the negative consequences of Columbus’ arrival to the Americas, like any important figure in human history though, it’s important to remember to not just look back in history through a modern lens, but to also recognize the historical norms at the times.  Without ever excusing the mistreatment of any peoples in history, it’s simply not fair to say that all of Columbus’ accomplishments should be redacted.  Like Thomas Jefferson, Alexander Hamilton, and other important historical figures, we have to assess the bad and the good.

This revisionist history is bad for our society.  Judging all of history through a politically correct lens does a disservice in truly understanding our history as a people, culture, and country.  It should be noted that many of these same people are calling for the end of Thanksgiving as a national holiday as well, also using the modern PC lens of history to judge it.

In the end though, this is just another proxy battle in the war on America’s heritage, between those who believe America has been a force for good versus a force for evil in the world.  There are those who believe our constitution and history is one of only treachery and oppression, and they refuse to acknowledge the overall good America has been in the course of human events, and why America is truly an exceptional nation.

But my solution for now is simple – let’s just celebrate both, but give each their own day of celebration.  One recognizing our Western heritage, and the other, recognizing our Native American ancestry.  We have much to celebrate with both, and school children could learn much from both histories, as long as they are taught in an impartial manner.

My alternative suggestion is to just create a Leif Erickson Day, and celebrate the real individual who discovered North America.  But then again, he was white, and a Viking – not sure if the PC crowd would like this one either.

 

If you liked this op-ed, you should check out The Politically Incorrect Guide to Western Civilization!

Comments


  1. CLEAR PATH

    WHAT REASONS DID FDR CITE FOR MAKING COLUMBUS? OR WAS HE LOOKING FOR DEMOCRATIC VOTERS IN MAJOR CITIES?

    October 11, 2017,7:10 am


  2. Blue Belle

    We should celebrate INDIGENOUS DAY. They were here first and has inhabited this country, long before Columbus was even born.

    October 10, 2017,11:08 pm


  3. Frank Montefusco

    Yes on Columbus day.

    October 10, 2017,9:23 pm


  4. Jason

    There are no Indigenous Peoples, in America, they migrated from some other place, in fact there are no Indigenous Peoples for any Country on earth, they all migrated from some other place, wake-up and stop being Soros, Killery, Obumer IDIOTS, Lacky’s.

    October 10, 2017,8:41 pm


  5. Jason

    Celebrate Columbus, we have enough street signs, town names that honor the American Indian tribes, Casino’s and Native tribes lands.

    October 10, 2017,8:38 pm


  6. littleoldlady

    Celebrate Columbus Day. History is history and trying to destroy it doesn’t change it.

    October 10, 2017,8:17 pm


  7. Jay Ryan

    More importantly keep all those fellow Americans in prayers. There are people in several states either without homes or temporarily waiting to see if any of their property is left. Shelve the fools who lost their communist election and worry about our brothers and sisters out there in dire need. They don’t have time to protest the world.

    October 10, 2017,7:55 pm


  8. Jay Ryan

    Oh, my father was 3/4 Irish, mom FBI.

    October 10, 2017,7:51 pm


  9. Jay Ryan

    I’m Apache and my thoughts are the harsh reality of what happened to our country is terrible from my folks point of view and I have always agreed. But if it hadn’t of been him it would’ve been another. All of which is proved out by the ensuing cultural and land theft by greedy human beings. So why try to DELETE HISTORY AND ALTER THE TRUTH?? Do what we have been doing all this time-Deal with it. Move on.

    October 10, 2017,7:50 pm


  10. James Parker

    Im tired of the liberals trying to force their left wing agenda on everyone. Columbus day is just that, period!

    October 10, 2017,5:32 pm


  11. marge streckfus

    Columbus discovered that is what we are celebrating. Tired of the politically correct and I’m offended crowd

    October 10, 2017,5:09 pm


  12. clifton jackson

    Yes keep Columbus Day.

    October 10, 2017,1:25 pm


  13. Julie Wakley

    Columbus Day should stand on its own, celebrating the man and his crew who discovered the New World; another day can be set aside to celebrate the natives. America is a melting pot – let’s get back to that. Enough with trying to erase history – it won’t change the past, and if this next generation does not learn our history, they will grow to despise their own country.

    October 10, 2017,8:17 am


  14. Sharon

    If Columbus had not sailed west to get east, we wouldn’t have known this continent existed until much later in time. Oct. 11th is Columbus Day and should be treated as such. However, I would have no problem adding a Native American day/month at some point, Personally feel if we are forced to celebrate Feb as black history month, we should be able to teach children about our own native history as well. The blacks who contributed to USA history are part of the history of this country. Yet we seem to be forced into going even further and “celebrate” a culture that doesn’t exist in this country. This is the United States of AMERICA, NOT Africa. Native American culture is much more relevant to this country than the various cultures of Africa. Blacks living in the USA today for the most part have never been to Africa and really don’t know or understand the culture from there. So what they are being taught about it is not actual either. Teaching Native American culture would also help cure a lot of the stupidity I see from some folk about the Native population.

    October 9, 2017,11:55 pm


  15. Paul

    By remembering, we’ve are not condoning what he did negatively but what he did to put us on the map . There is no perfect person but Jesus.

    October 9, 2017,10:20 pm


  16. Eric Grounds

    We have enough culture within ourselves that we should celebrate both without discretion

    October 9, 2017,9:12 pm


  17. Ric Carmazino

    You learn from history, you do not bury it as though it did not exist, it happened in that period, in that cultured period of what the world was at that time. Columbus did a courageous thing for that period, sailing into the unknown and opening new world wide destinations which followed his discovery.
    What will History be saying about our culture 500 years from now. It’s history, learn from it, it happened, do not try and change it to fit your needs.
    HAPPY COLUMBUS DAY TO ALL, CELEBRATE IT

    October 9, 2017,7:56 pm


  18. Eloy

    Let’s celebrate both.

    October 9, 2017,7:23 pm


  19. Bill

    Columbus Day. He founded this great country with courage that few today would have.

    October 9, 2017,6:48 pm


  20. Margaret Storelee

    Why are liberals always wanting to erase the past and change history. Pick a different day to celebrate Indian culture.

    October 9, 2017,6:35 pm


  21. Carolyn Acheson

    Lay off Columbus, you adversaries. And read an accurate history.

    October 9, 2017,6:11 pm


  22. Sally

    First of all Columbus never even landed in the continental United States.

    I agree let’s teach kids the truth about Columbus from his own journals and from the Spanish court records. He found the Native Americans to be very nice and then turned around and enslave them infected them with diseases deliberately and raped them.
    He was tried as a war criminal in Spain for his actions. Oh but wait that’s not what you people want to teach kids do you want to teach them that people thought the world was flat which they didn’t. And that he thought he discovered a new continent which he didn’t he was convinced it was still Asia. And history is not revisionist is more facts come out in documents are discovered we have to change what we know.

    October 9, 2017,5:05 pm


  23. Brad

    I agree that both Columbus Day and a Native American Day should be celebrated. Columbus is responsible for Europeans coming to the Americas en masse. If it hadn’t been Columbus, some other European would have arrived sooner or later. But we cannot overlook the first peoples to inhabit the Americas either. They survived and prospered for thousands of years before the rest of the world even knew of them. It wasn’t all roses and peaches either; there was warfare between the tribes and some of the native cultures (notably the Aztecs) were practicing human sacrifice. But both days should be celebrated as each culture helped shape the world that we live in. But not necessarily on the same day. Let each be respected fully in its own turn.

    October 9, 2017,4:42 pm


  24. Harry Travis

    Hell yes and all the rest and all the bastards and bitches destroying history need to get the hell out for I for one am sick of the shit

    October 9, 2017,4:36 pm

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