Eric Kasum, writing for HuffPo commemorates the holiday by recounting the true tale of Christopher Columbus, who set foot on a sandy Bahamian beach in 1492 and promptly enslaved the hospitable islanders (who rescued the crew and cargo of the shipwrecked Santa Maria). Within two years, half of the 250,000-strong population was dead.
He oversaw the sale of native girls into sexual slavery, killed babies to use as dog food, and had soldiers cut off the hands of workers who didn’t meet their gold dust quota—prompting 100 to commit mass suicide. Why don’t we learn about this in school, Kasum asks. “Columbus himself kept detailed diaries, as did some of his men. (If you don’t believe me, just Google the words Columbus, sex slave, and gold mine.)” He continues, “Call me crazy, but I think holidays ought to honor people who are worthy of our admiration. Let’s boycott this outrageous holiday because it honors a mass murderer.”
It’s time we take a second look at those we celebrate. Clearly Christopher Columbus would never stand the scrutiny. How about “Native American Day,” as it’s called in South Dakota. After all it’s not the murderer we should be celebrating, but the murdered.