Columbus Day an Unjust Celebration of Indigenous Genocide

This year many Americans celebrate 515 years since the arrival of Christopher Columbus to the Americas, a day often referred to as Columbus Day. Instead, I will be commemorating the atrocities committed by the conquistadors on the indigenous people of the Americas, including genocide, repression, abuse, and in some cases, extermination.

It is an abomination that we celebrate Columbus Day. Christopher Columbus wanted wealth, power, and fame, and was willing to do anything for it, which lead to his expedition across the Atlantic. Columbus’ purpose was anything but noble, so why should we remember him as a hero?

Columbus started what is probably the most horrific period in the history of the world: European Colonialism and the “Age of Discovery.”

During this period, Europeans invaded regions from Latin America to Africa, the Middle East, and East Asia, expanding their empire, and in the process, annihilating millions. Conquistadors not only took over land and stole resources that belonged to others, but they went ahead and made indigenous peoples their slaves. They tortured men and raped women and children.

In his book “Lies My Teacher Told Me,” James Leowen reports that “Haiti under the Spanish is one of the primary instances of genocide in human history.” I wonder if the fact that Haiti is now the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere has anything to do with the burden of that genocide?

Simply put, if Christopher Columbus were still alive today, he would be tried for genocide and crimes against humanity.

Also, we must remember that Christopher Columbus never even set foot in the United States, one more reason why Columbus Day should not be a national holiday.

The consequences of the Age of Discovery and colonialism are still present today in countries across the world. Africa is perhaps the region in the world that was bore the worst of the crisis.

Since decolonization in the 1950s and 1960s, ethnic conflicts that had been repressed for centuries by the conquistadors have now reemerged and resulted in bloody civil wars across the continent. Furthermore, most natural resources are still in the hands of a few white people, descendents of the same white Europeans that colonized Africa 300 years ago. These well-to-do whites constitute only a small minority of the population.

In Latin America and Asia, colonialism is still manifest in a different form, through international institutions such as the IMF and the World Bank, controlled by Europe and the United States (one of the few success stories to emerge from the Colonial Age, at the cost of a long, bloody revolutionary war).

Under the guise of promoting progress, development, and the free market, these institutions impose policies that further dependency and continue to benefit a few rich countries.

On a brighter note, countries that were colonized are taking initiative and finally exposing what Columbus Day is really about.

Venezuela was the first country to abolish Columbus Day celebrations and is now a commemoration day called “Dia de la Resistencia Indigena” which translates to “Indigenous Resistance Day,” a day to honor the native Indians who fought against conquistadors, and remember the thousands massacred by the Spanish. We should follow Venezuela’s example and debunk the heroic myth of Columbus Day.

Columnist Steve Covieo asked, “What makes genocide acceptable 500 years ago?” and I ask the same. Let’s learn our history and commemorate the deaths of hundred of thousands of innocents-but let’s not unwittingly celebrate the biggest genocide in the history of humanity.

1 thought on “Columbus Day an Unjust Celebration of Indigenous Genocide”

  1. Christopher Columbus is not a guy you should celebrating. By the way, he is an evil coldblooded genocidal pig who killed and butchered millions of poor innocent Indians. He is a very bad guy who was possessed and worked for the Devil. He is the Jeffrey Dahmer and John Wayne Gacy of the 1400s and the world’s first and worst serial killer.please abolish Columbus Day !.

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