Removal of Columbus Day from Calendars

Removal of Columbus Day from Calendars

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Rebecca Baker started this petition to Citizens

Every year we, as Americans, celebrate Columbus day. In elementary school we were taught Columbus was the first to discover the Americas trying to get to India.  Now we’ve learned that isn’t true, but we still continue to learn more about Columbus than Leif Eriksson, who was the first non-native to discover the Americas. We also learn about Columbus’s relationship with the natives, but we don’t learn about the natives themselves.  European people came to continents that already had many different societies thriving on it, and looked down on them for not being the same as them and having different ways of life. They conquered the natives of the country they ‘discovered’ and took their land for their own. Christopher Columbus Day should no longer be celebrated in Modern Day America.

Even in modern, more advanced times, the descendants of the native americans are suffering. They often live on reserves, areas of land ‘gifted’ to them in a treaty. Columbus and other conquistadors came to the Americas, and decided that they had the right to move the people already living there. Through a treaty the natives were given areas of land, but for years the areas got smaller and smaller to feed the idea of manifest destiny. Manifest Destiny was the idea that the white colonizers had the right to reach from ocean to ocean. 

An October 2017 article by Native American author Mark Anthony Rolo quotes “For the past 80 years, since Columbus Day became a federal holiday in 1937, we have celebrated an explorer who engaged in enslavement, outright theft and the genocide of this hemisphere's indigenous peoples.” For a country that has preached all men being created equal, we have constantly ignored the oppression and suffering of Native Americans. As much suffering that the native americans were put through, we don't celebrate their role in our modern day society. All the land we have in America was once theirs. And yet we celebrate the white man who conquered them, and let them continue suffering.

This new world was formed on the suffering and destruction of Native Americans, slaves, and other minorities. Those people deserve the recognition, not the man who caused it. Columbus took land away from Native American tribes. And although we now have the country we live in today, it has not been formed on the best grounds, and we can’t continue to deny that. We have to understand that Columbus wasn’t a saint, and we owe the people who suffered from his greed some recognition. I call you to recognize the truth about Christopher Columbus and embrace the idea of celebrating Indigenous Peoples’ Day. 

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