Columbus Day Controversy
Every year, since 1792, the second Monday of October, is Columbus Day. Columbus Day was created as a day of celebration for when Christopher Columbus reached the ‘New World’ and settled it. However Columbus Day 2017 is proving to be a big controversy.
In 1492, Columbus docked in American, believing he had reached India, and staked claim on behalf of Spain, thus planting the first seed for forceful takeover of the Americas by European countries. On their mission to claim territory and ‘new land’ for themselves, the Europeans didn’t think of or care what this invasion meant for the indigenous people of their new colonies. Native Americans all across the country were either relocated to places that were decided to be too uninhabitable for Europeans, or just cut down if they were in the way. Because of this dark reality of the history of settling in America, people in America have started to rebel against the idea that the landing of a man who introduced invasion, disease, and disregard for equality of human rights should be celebrated.
Many Americans are joining the movement to legally change Columbus Day to ‘Indigenous Peoples Day.’ They believe that instead of celebrating the arrival of a man who brought terror and enslavement to the native people of the Americas, the people of the United States should celebrate the strength and courage of the Native Americans throughout many trials and tribulations.
Throughout time, Columbus Day has gone by many names, ‘the 300th year since Spanish landing’ in 1792, ‘Discovery Day’ in 1892 when President Harrison announced it as a national holiday, and when it was declared to be a recurring national holiday on October 1st 1934.
Social media sites from twitter to Facebook to Instagram have been exploding with opinions on the national holiday. Many people are stating that it is wrong to celebrate the landing of a man who terrorized an entire people and killed many without provocation. Others however, are arguing that it is an important part of the history of the United States and how the country came to be.
The movement to change the holiday has been gaining momentum all across the country and the points are appealing to many people, but there are also those who are admittedly opposed. So far, the holiday still exists, although there is no longer a day off of school for it to be observed. Columbus Day will remain what it is on a federal level, for 2017 at least, but it is reasonable to expect change in the coming years.