Columbus’ Controvery

By: Catherine McClees

In 1492 Columbus sailed the ocean blue… now it seems like he’s sailing the sea of media articles as well. With the rise of being “politically correct”, many celebrities have come under fire for things they have said or done in the past. But it looks like they aren’t the only ones getting in trouble. Icons from centuries ago are being attacked for things they did while they were alive. One of these figures is Christopher Columbus. Columbus Day is now being called Indigenous People’s Day by some to commemorate the natives living in America before European colonization, and here are what a few students think about that.

Sophomore Isabella Oliver says, “I agree because the Native Americans were here first, but they were forced to be a smaller population and give up most of their culture by Columbus and the Europeans”.

Junior Kelsey Blackwood says, “I’m not that informed of the debate but I think it should still be Columbus Day because it is celebrating the day Columbus came to America and there should be a separate day for indigenous people to receive their own recognition”.

Junior Max Buchman says, “I have no problems with it. A day off is a day off and it would be nice to honor the indigenous people after all the bad things the United States has done to them”.

Freshman Macy McAfee says, “I think Columbus Day being changed to Indigenous Peoples’ Day is a very good thing because the indigenous people were already here and Columbus and the Europeans claiming to be here first is not fair to them”. 
Columbus Day, the holiday originally created to celebrate Columbus’ “discovery” of America is being called Indigenous People’s Day by some now. Some people agree, saying that the indigenous people were here first, so the holiday should be named after them. Others disagree, saying that indigenous people should get a separate holiday. The question remains: should we rename existing holidays to fit today’s culture, or should we create new holidays and name them after people we now view as heroes? Is it empowering to rename holidays after new people, or is it demeaning that they are chosen only after the first choice was viewed as poor? What do you think?

Photo from democracyandme.org

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