|White men can't be terrorists, der.|
If you'll be spending your Columbus Day wearing a tri-fold hat and venerating Chris, stop reading now.
I hate Columbus Day. Growing up steeped in my Native American culture has taught me that the "discoverer of America" actually sucked. In my house, we call him Wrong Way Chris because honestly, he should have just gone west. Instead, he bumped into the massive land mass that is the Americas. Not that his "discovery" was even original *coughVikingscough*
But I get it; we're trying to explore and advance science. That's cool and I think new discoveries are just great. Yay, we're all progressive go-getters.
What I'm opposed to are blatant human rights violations. Like capturing Native peoples and then letting them die on the voyage back to the motherland. Or forcing Native peoples to exploit their own resources so that WWC could make up for his serious power and money hunger. Or raping Native women and children, just because. Or forcing Native children to attend English school and beating them for speaking their languages (I know, that came later). For more horrors, read Lies My Teacher Told Me by James W. Loewen.
|This is the point where you re-think your History degree.|
|"With my hand on my hip in a sassy fashion, I do declare this land mine."|
So I ask why we still honor WWC every October. I totally understand that American children are too ADD to make it through an entire month without a day off of school, but do we have to give them the day off under WWC's name? Why not Indigenous People's Day, to commemorate those who were lost in the exploitation that followed WWC's arrival in the Americas? Of if we don't want to deal with ethnicities at all (totally cool with me), how about Fall Break? I'm not overly opposed to celebrating the "beginning" of American culture. I'm opposed to the fact that we honor the man who tried to put Native culture in a blender. I understand that conquest happens. It's not a gleeful situation, over times, it happens. Cultural genocide I will never come to terms with. Sue me.
So let's take a minute to remember both what was and what's managed to remain.
|DAS ME. Cultural Pride FTW.|
Regalia made by my Gramma.