TCHS Rampage

Temple City High School


September 22, 2017

Columbus Day is cancelled: Oct. 9 is Indigenous People’s Day


Christopher Columbus did more than just sail the ocean blue in 1492, he basically started a mass genocide. Upon his arrival into the New World, Columbus and his crew immediately ravaged the indigenous peoples for resources and information on the location of gold in order to report back to the Spanish Crown.
To make things worse, Columbus allowed his men to rape the women, enslaved everybody and ruled over them with an iron grip.
It is so infuriating to see Columbus adored as a great explorer by our government when really he was nothing more than a gold hungry thug.
Instead of worshipping someone who barely made it to the Americas why can’t we as a nation celebrate the original people of the land. Native Americans, whether they be Iroquois or Navajo, have been in the Americas for more than 12,000 years.
With more than 50 million people throughout the Americas, First Nation peoples thrived in the New World inhabiting every single corner of the continent. As a matter of fact, North America alone had over 500 tribes.
With such a huge diversity in cultures, languages and identities that have survived to this day, it is odd as well as disturbing that we do not understand and aren’t willing to appreciate our First Nation brothers and sisters. Instead, we celebrate their oppressors and murderers in blatant high praise.
Columbus, who deliberately pillaged and murdered the Arawaks, has a public holiday while Andrew Jackson who enacted the Indian Removal Act is commemorated on our twenty dollar bill.
Celebrating such things and human rights violators who committed heinous actions against Native Americans would be like celebrating Hitler and the Nazi party in Europe, even though they massacred Romani, Jewish and LGBTQ people.
Celebrating Indigenous People’s Day would mean moving towards understanding native peoples as well as a solid attempt at trying to heal and grow with them as fellow Americans.
For example, educating kids on local native tribes, celebrating native language, food and culture would be great ways of celebrating Indigenous Peoples Day as opposed to celebrating western expansionism.
Although not much has been done in order to celebrate Indigenous People and their heritage, small steps have been taken in big cities like Los Angeles which have made way of Columbus Day from city calendars with Indigenous People’s Day in its place.
Overall, it’s important to understand that although Columbus didn’t necessarily oppress all of the indigenous peoples of the Americas, however, his arrival did lead to it.
Due to the butchering of the first indigenous people he encountered, Columbus shouldn’t be celebrated.
Similar to how the removal of Confederate Statues have been taking place as a way to make up for America’s sins, Christopher Columbus Day should be replaced with a day that doesn’t erase and oppress the people we know the least about.

About the Author

Alex Nguyen


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