Hello Meltingpot Readers,
Did you ever stop to think why you get a day off for Columbus Day? What exactly is it we are celebrating? Some of us didn’t really celebrate anything at all today and reported in for work, but that’s beside the point. The real point is that celebrating the man who accidentally bumped into the American continent, thought it was India, and then tried to lay claim to the land for his European employers, despite the fact that the land was already inhabited, is kind of insane. I mean really, insane. As I saw on somebody’s Facebook page today, we should celebrate Columbus Day by breaking into someone’s house and then telling them that the house is now ours. Yeah, that would be more appropriate.
On national level, a lot of people think it would be more appropriate to honor the indigenous people of the United States on October 12 instead of Columbus. One such person, Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz, is a professor, activist and author with a new book out called, An Indigenous Peoples’ History of the United States (Beacon Press). She has created a petition to send to President Obama to have the holiday officially changed. Two cities, Minneapolis and Seattle have already made the change, but Ortiz wants the entire country to come correct. I signed her petition. If you want to as well, follow this link to WhiteHouse.gov. It’s quick and easy and every single signature makes a difference.
What do you think about this issue? Should we change the focus of the federal holiday? I’m so listening.