Very few people officially celebrate Christopher Columbus Day, or know much about who Christopher Columbus truly was. It is just one of those holidays that some people happily get off work and are dismissed out of hand by others
There are a growing number of individuals though, like myself, who are troubled by Christopher Columbus Day remaining a federal holiday, and here’s why:
Some people still mistakenly think of Christopher Columbus as the man who “discovered America” or taught us that the “world was round.” Few people equate him with who he truly was and his participation in acts of genocide, human slavery, torture and other such acts of gut wrenching cruelty.
If Christopher Columbus gets to share the honor of a federally recognized holiday with individuals such as Martin Luther King Jr., then don’t you think we should know more about who he really was, and what he did when he arrived at “the Americas?” (Notice I said “arrived at the Americas” and not “discovered” them.)
I’m not an expert on Christopher Columbus, but I have learned a thing or two about him that probably wasn’t included in your high school textbook. And after you take the time to learn a bit more about him I think you’ll agree that Christopher Columbus Day should be removed from the list of federal holidays!
To begin learning more about Christopher Columbus’s legacy I recommend this Comic. Yes, for a subject as serious as this it may seem strange to reference a comic, but as anyone who reads TheOatmeal knows, it’s not your average comic and it’s a good place to start. As the author and artist of TheOatmeal, Matthew Inman, explains, all the information for this piece was pulled from: “A People’s History of the United States, by Howard Zinn, and Lies My Teacher Told Me, by James W. Lowewen, both of which use primary sources such as eyewitness accounts, journal entries, and letters from Christopher Columbus himself.”