End Columbus Day

by Natalie Murray ’18

In 1492, Columbus sailed the ocean blue, murdered and enslaved countless Native Americans in their own country, and began an American tradition of disrespecting and mistreating minorities that still exists today. Nonetheless, America celebrates him every second Monday of October. Though Columbus Day may seem innocent, in commemorating a man who committed genocide, we’re also celebrating America’s apathy towards minorities, especially Native Americans.

Though many claim that ending Columbus Day would be “erasing history,” this is entirely false. Ending Columbus Day will not delete any mention of Columbus in history classes, but it could prompt a more accurate portrayal of him. Some people even wish for Columbus Day to become “Indigenous People’s Day,” a much-deserved celebration of Native Americans and their culture, rather than the man who stole their land and proceeded to slaughter them. It’s time to stop glorifying a man whose actions set a precedent for the prevailing mistreatment of Native Americans throughout history, as with the Trail of Tears, forced assimilation, the Dakota Access Pipeline, and the reduction of Native Americans to sports mascots, among other things.