The Problem With Columbus Day

Columbus Day is an occasion that is regarded in a positive light as a day of celebration, when is reality, Columbus Day is a ludicrous occasion that celebrates the slaughter of thousands of Native Americans.

When Columbus stumbled across the Americas in 1492, he immediately began to disregard the lives of the Native Americans that already imhabitated the country. He wrote in his ships log, “They do not bear arms, and do not know them, for I showed them a sword, they took it by the edge and cut themselves out of ignorance. They had no iron. Their spears are made of cane….They would make fine servants….With fifty men we could subjugate them and make them do whatever we want.”

Ignoring the kind and generous hospitality that the Arawak people had shown him, Columbus immediately took them hostage, hoping that they would lead him to the gold that he craved.

Columbus, not knowing that he had not arrived in Asia, like he had initially planned, wrote back to Spain. He reported that he was off the coast of China and that he suspected that there were many riches to be found there. Christopher pleaded that all he was in need of was a little help, and with that added help, he would be able to send back all the gold that Spain desired.

His needs were granted and 1,200 men were sent for his next expedition. When the party arrived in Haiti, they raped and pillaged the Native’s villages, and threatened to slit the wrists of anyone who didn’t find gold.

Knowing that the only gold in the vicinity of Haiti was mere flecks, the Native’s fled, committed suicide, or were killed as punishment. After the Arawak incident, there were countless more mass murders of Native Americans at the hands of Columbus.

To celebrate Columbus Day is to condone the slaughter of hundreds of thousands of innocent mothers, sons, husbands, and daughters. The holiday should not be revered as a day of triumph, but instead, as a day of mourning for those that were lost in the colonization of The Americas.

Sources: Howard Zinn: A young people’s history of the United States

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