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Might be time to set sail on Columbus Day

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Columbus+Day+has+become+a+topic+of+controversy+as+opinions+differ+on+his+means+of+heroism.+Wingspan%27s+Madeline+Aronson+shares+her+thoughts+on+the+validity+of+the+so+called+holiday.
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Might be time to set sail on Columbus Day

Columbus Day has become a topic of controversy as opinions differ on his means of heroism. Wingspan's Madeline Aronson shares her thoughts on the validity of the so called holiday.

Columbus Day has become a topic of controversy as opinions differ on his means of heroism. Wingspan's Madeline Aronson shares her thoughts on the validity of the so called holiday.

Madeline Aronson

Columbus Day has become a topic of controversy as opinions differ on his means of heroism. Wingspan's Madeline Aronson shares her thoughts on the validity of the so called holiday.

Madeline Aronson

Columbus Day has become a topic of controversy as opinions differ on his means of heroism. Wingspan's Madeline Aronson shares her thoughts on the validity of the so called holiday.

Rather than honor Columbus, some cities have adopted Indigenous Peoples’ Day, to honor the native men and women who lost their lives to European settlers. This is a much more productive approach, that respects the people, but still celebrates the history of America. The adoption of the Indigenous Peoples’ Day is a way to be respectful and remember the brutal history of our country, and is another step toward unity and respect in the U.S.”

Christopher Columbus, a name embedded in the minds of our youth as the eminence of exploration. He daringly ventured across the great horizon, in search of new lands and opportunity for his fellow Spanish countrymen. Blazing forward in a path of fire and glory to bring civilization to new lands, and help the settle the untamed western frontier.

Columbus Day was instated in 1937 by President Franklin D. Roosevelt, to celebrate the anniversary of the so called “discovery” of the United States by Christopher Columbus in the year of 1492. But should Columbus still be honored in this way?

Some states have gotten smart and realized the celebration of injustice is a poor reflection on our society. Hawaii, Vermont, Oregon, Alaska, and South Dakota, along with some individual cities, have adopted Indigenous Peoples Day, to honor the native men and women who lost their lives to European settlers.

Even the city of Columbus, OH, which is named after the explorer, chose not to celebrate Columbus Day this year. Instead, it is choosing to celebrate Veteran’s Day.

There’s a reason some cities and states are reevaluating Columbus Day as natives were allegedly slaughtered by the dozen at the hand of Columbus and his men. His first encounter with natives was with the Taino, whose men were forced into slavery by threat of death, and were often killed because of minor infractions. Within decades, the Taino were wiped out, due to disease and murder of their people, for reasons like not finding enough gold that day, which by anybody’s standard does not constitute taking a human life.

In the 1500’s word of Columbus’ mistreatment of the natives and the Spanish settlers was heard by the Spanish government, and officials were sent to arrest and return Columbus to Spain. In life, he was stripped of his title as governour, and imprisoned for the mistreatment of others, and abuse of power.

In a time where women and racial minorities had no rights, the Spanish monarchy still recognized the fault in his actions. After his death he has became re-glorified by Americans. How is it right for us, as people that consider ourselves more advanced and morally conscious than the archaic monarchical system, to deem a man seen as a torturer by their standards, and a hero by ours?

All of this said, Columbus did great things for the economy of Spain and its allies. But when did riches and royalty become more important than the delicate and sacred lives of human beings? Celebrating Columbus validates his actions toward the native people, including the Taino, and the other tribes and lives he and his men destroyed on a quest for nothing more than selfish, personal glory. No decent person can defend celebrating a man who treated other humans with no more respect than dogs, fleas, or dirt.

Rather than honor Columbus, some cities have adopted Indigenous Peoples’ Day, to honor the native men and women who lost their lives to European settlers. This is a much more productive approach, that respects the people, but still celebrates the history of America. The adoption of the Indigenous Peoples’ Day is a way to be respectful and remember the brutal history of our country, and is another step toward unity and respect in the U.S.

 

About the Writer
Madeline Aronson, Staff Reporter








Maddie Aronson is Junior and is new to the Wingspan program. She is the president of the SAGA club at Liberty, and plays for the Redhawk...

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Might be time to set sail on Columbus Day