Monday, October 12, 2009

Columbus Day Should be Reclaimed as National Day of Historical Truth-Telling

If ignoring the controversial Columbus Day holiday is not what we should do, then what is?

If the Columbus voyage is compared to a modern day voyage to Mars, then what do we make of the European colonization that took place subsequent to Columbus' "discovery?"

What do we make of the wiping out of the Native Americans who were here, and HAD been here for so long? How do we recoin a holiday when the basis of the "discovery" was actually theft? And brutality?

What do we do when we know that truth? What happens after truth-telling? Has anything changed? Instead of moving the holiday around to create longer 4 day weekends in November, what do we DO with the knowledge that the history textbooks document Columbus day from the victor's side? Has that knowledge changed your perception of this federal holiday?

The least we can do is make today a day of truth-telling. If we want to tell the story of a man who went on a really brave, long trip; if we want to tell the story of the violent genocide inflicted upon the Native Americans; if we want our children to have a day off of school for these reasons and, for some, receive a paid holiday, the least we can do is press upon the truth, if only for one day.

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