“Columbus Day Observed” is what I read on my calendar this morning, which I promptly scratched out and responded with “not in this house”.
I am very happy that Brandeis does not recognize Columbus Day, especially since I read the book Lies My Teacher Told Me by James Loewen and my eyes were opened to the myth I was taught in 3rd grade. The cute little songs can no longer cover the realities of Mr. Columbus’ pillaging and degradation of our nations native peoples. I could go on and on about the wrongs this man has done, so you can check out these quotes from Leowen’s book for more info. (The Columbus conversation doesn’t start until partway down the page)
Christopher Columbus introduced two phenomena that revolutionized race relations and transformed the modern world: the taking of land, wealth, and labor from indigenous peoples, leading to their near extermination, and the transatlantic slave trade, which created a racial underclass. (Leowen)
Come on, America. Is this really who we want as a national hero?
Also from my understanding (and according to my calander), some have reclaimed today as Indigenous People’s Day. I find that to be much more fitting. Today should be a day of mourning and rememberance, as well as facing the current situation of native people in our country and working towards a more respectful and peaceful future.
So to all, a meaningful Indigenous People’s Day.