Yesterday was Columbus Day and also the day to shine the spotlight on the Native Americans who were ill-treated by Christopher Columbus, the man who “discovered” the land we now know as the United States of America. There’s been a trend the last few years to rename Columbus Day to something that honors the native peoples who were already here long before some Italian decided not to ask for directions and got himself lost. On top of not asking for directions, in typical male fashion, he decided to claim land that was already occupied. But that was the trend way back then in 1492. The Spanish/Italians weren’t the only ones who did it, either.
My question is: Why now? Columbus Day has been an official federally recognized holiday since 1937. Why didn’t anyone stop it then? Because we were more bigoted in the 30s? I daresay we are definitely more so today. And why do we pick only one day of the year to focus on the natives of this land who were mistreated and pushed out of their homelands?
I listen to NPR daily. Unlike most mainstream media they report on things no one else will cover, including the many struggles of Native Americans. It breaks my heart to hear these stories. Of course one would expect that the government can help, but why would you assume the very government that screwed over your ancestors can be trusted today? It’s a question many people ask all the time. There are issues on both sides that need to be worked on, but the trust needed does not begin with changing the name of a stupid holiday. Nothing about that will help solve crime or put food on their tables or offer a job.
Get off the bandwagon of self-righteousness and help change the government so that these people can get the help they need.