Instead of celebrating the champion of sociopathic imperialism, I’m with Oatmeal creator Matt Inman on honoring Bartolome de las Casas on that day instead.
It’s been well documented that many of the “discoverers” from back then were brutal, greedy and cruel men. In the name of their country and religion, they exploited and killed many indigenous people.
I will never forget the time I had to write a research paper on Vasco Da Gama, a Portuguese explorer who was the first person to navigate a route to the East. I was in the fourth grade, and my dad accompanied me as I checked out some books on Da Gama. What we discovered made us sick to our stomach. Like Columbus, Da Gama mistook the kindness of the natives he encountered as a sign of weakness, and did unspeakable, horrific things to them.
I do not honor Columbus or Da Gama or others of their ilk. I think I’ll celebrate Columbus Day as Indigenous People Day instead.