Should We Really Celebrate Columbus Day?

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Should We Really Celebrate Columbus Day?

Liliana Reynoso, Author

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Columbus Day falls on October 14th this year and has been a national holiday in the United States since 1937,but should we really be celebrating it?Back in 1492 an Italian explorer named Christopher Columbus sailed the ocean in search of  a new route to India, China, Japan and the Spice Islands.But instead, he had set foot in the Americas, and claimed the land for Spain. Many people have said that Christopher “discovered America”,which is false because there were people already there when he arrived. But he actually introduced the Americas to Western Europe during his four voyages between 1492 and 1502.

 

The Native Americans already had inhabited North America and it was their home.When Christopher arrived they didn’t know that their lives would change forever and the scars that he would leave on their home.While he was there he enslaved and killed millions of Native American people.He also forced them to change their religion to Christianity.When he made them his slaves he needed gold so he and his men ordered all natives 14 years or older to collect a certain amount of gold every three months.

Natives who didn’t collect enough gold had their hands cut off.And if they fled to try and escape him then they were hunted down and killed. In them two years half of the 250,000 Indians were dead, either through murder, mutilation or suicide. By 1550, there were 500 Indians. By 1650, the Arawaks had been wiped out from the island.So why should we celebrate Columbus Day if Christopher Columbus is not a symbol of cultural pride?Why should anyone take pride in Christopher Columbus when he brought misery and degradation of the native people?It’s time to pay attention and face the truth and overlooked accomplishments of Native Americans who lived in this hemisphere long before it was named America.