Abolish Columbus Day

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Columbus Day has regarded Christopher Columbus as a hero for his “discovery” of America. In parts of America there are big Columbus Day celebrations and parades; even the schools are closed so the children may experience the festivities. The fact of the matter is that Columbus Day does not celebrate the actual “accomplishments” of Columbus, but celebrates the PG story of Columbus that school teachers would tell elementary school children in the form of a rhyme or song. The celebration of Columbus Day glorifies the colonial conquest, enslavement, and murder of indigenous people by Europeans and should be wiped off the books of American national holidays because Christopher Columbus is not a great Italian explorer who discovered America and Columbus’ exploration led the massive genocide of the indigenous people.

All throughout America, Italian-American people celebrate Christopher Columbus as one of the great Italian heroes. In reality, Columbus was not even Italian but Genoese, which is a person born in Genoa. Italy did not become a country until 1861 which is 355 years after Columbus died. While Columbus was alive he did not go on his famous trip across the Atlantic Ocean sponsored by Genoa but instead sponsored by Spain. Christopher Columbus set out on his exploration to find a faster trade route to Asia and so traveled East thinking that would have been a faster way; obviously this is not true. In Howard Zinn’s essay, Columbus, The Indians, and Human Progress, the writer states that Columbus would have never made it to Asia and, “One-fourth of the way there he came upon an unknown, uncharted land…” (Zinn). If Columbus was the great explorer that Columbus Day portrays him as, then he would have at least realized that the land he discovered was not Asia but instead America. When Columbus died, he thought that he went to Asia even though an acquaintance of his, Amerigo Vespucci, had already realized that the land Columbus went to was not Asia but the New World....
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