Columbus Day and White Supremecy

Imagine that someone breaks in your house, kills you, and puts your family in slavery. He then proclaims that he "discovered" your house and takes ownership of it as if you were never there in the first place. The city awards the killer, and proclaims the day he killed and stole from you a holiday.

This is why I don't understand Columbus day.

Why is it alright to celebrate the someone who opened the door for genocide and slavery of the Native Americans and Africans? This is morally justifiable only if these groups aren't really "people." In reality, they are not respected as people in American culture. Americans develop this perspective when they first go to school. They are taught that Columbus "discovered" America, even with the logical fallacy that no one can discover a place where someone else lives. By not acknowledging the the Native Americans in this way, children learn that the NA's are lesser than white Columbus. In addition, by not discussing the atrocities of Columbus and the consequences of this "discovery," we reduce the Native Americans' injustice to being as insignificant. It's not worth even addressing after all.

We can see the affects of this demeaning of Native Americans in popular culture. In TV and books, Native Americans are portrayed as ignorant savages who want to tear down the marvelous civilization that the whites have built on their land. However, we fail to address the NA's rich civilization--well, the rich civilization that was there since it was almost destroyed. We are just taught that the white's culture is superior. Therefore, the destruction of the NA's way of life is justifiable. To further illustrate America's respect for NA's, we see how whites use NA's as mascots for their football games and dress up as them
in minstrel fashion in order to show their reverence for their culture. We then learn that NA's are no better than a eagle, a bear, or any other animal since they can be used as a mascot.

How can we fix this? Should we end Columbus day? I propose that this holiday should be replaced with one that celebrates Native American culture and serves as a memorial to those who suffered from atrocities because of Columbus and those who followed after him.

In addition, minorities would be respected in America if we addressed their cultures and achievements in schools, instead of giving history from a white or biased perspective.


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