Columbus day, October 12, 1492, has long been recognized, by America and many other countries, as a day to celebrate the arrival of Christopher Columbus to the Americas. Traditionally, there has been much opposition to the National celebration of Columbus Day from a variety of groups. By examining documents, both historical and modern, it is evident Americans should not celebrate Columbus day, based on the evidence that Columbus committed actions that, by today’s standards, are barbaric and violent.
The purpose of Columbus Day is said to be celebrating the discovery of the Americas. However, there is a large amount of documented proof that proves that Columbus was not the first to discover the Americas, he was merely the first to capitalize on the people and the land. Columbus took advantage of the innocence and the trusting nature of the native peoples of the lands he discovered. “They are so naive and so free with their possessions…when you ask for something they have, they never say no. ” Columbus saw this as a weakness, and therefore saw them as his inferiors. With fifty men, we could subjugate them all and make them do whatever we want. ” Columbus did not discover America, he stumbled upon it by accident, as a country that prides itself on valuing freedom and equality above all else, America should not be celebrating a man who enslaved and controlled those he saw as inferior. The Native peoples of the Americas have struggled continuously to gain the right to practice their religion and culture with a freedom that has been denied to them for centuries.
Native people were the victims of many tortures by the conquistadores, including being sacrificed in Christian displays and strung up with burning wood placed under their feet. These people were not only tortured but forced to do manual labor while being controlled by Columbus and the like The beginning of the struggles of the Native peoples is marked by the arrival of Columbus in The Americas, and in honor of those who suffered America should choose not to celebrate Columbus day.
Modern day descendents of those whose ancestors were affected by the actions of Columbus have fought to have their side of the story heard. Columbus day never focuses on the negative actions committed, only on the sugarcoated discovery of land. By ignoring the please of those who have suffered, and who have a right to have their voices heard, America is, in a sense promoting the heinous actions of Columbus and his crew. We do not celebrate American slavery; on the contrary we see this as one of the low points of American history.
How then, is it fair to be celebrating a man who enslaved hundreds of people. Is it acceptable to celebrate this if we just don’t acknowledge the darker sides? America should not promote the celebration of Columbus day both on principle and as a gesture of good will to those who have fought for the removal of the holiday from our National calendar. Columbus enslaved and tortured hundreds of natives and killed even more. America is a country that has its core values based in freedom and equality and prides itself on providing these basic rights to all.
Although slavery has been a part of the countries past, it is not looked upon as a thing to be celebrated or nationally honored and therefore we should not be condoning the celebration of the enslavement of another group of people. How can we sit by while hundreds of people, those whose ancestors were harmed by Columbus and his men, fight to have this holiday removed? Is it not perfectly within their rights to have their plea to honor their descendents and their struggle? Celebrating Columbus Day is celebrating enslavement and violence, and America should take no part in this holiday.