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Why Columbus Day Should Not be Celebrated

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Dear Connecticut State Legislator,

            It is my belief that: although many people celebrate the holiday of Columbus Day, I do not think that day should be celebrated because this man is not who he seems to be. From the given sources, I have learned that not only was he a thief who deliberately took from the indigenous people as well as his crew; he also killed Arawak Indian children and took many adults as slaves. He also was not even the first person to find North America and the fact is that he found it by accident.

            When Columbus first arrived at the Bahamas, he was greeted by the Arawak Indians who showered him and his crew with gifts and food. After being around them for some time, he decided to take the search for valuable items to a new level. He took some of the people by force and demanded to know where the materials like gold and such were located and then he forced them to show him and start to find them, sort of like slaves. He also learned that the Arawak people were so generous that they would give him anything he asked them for; he then proceeded to ask them for nearly all of their belongings which had any monetary value. The fact of him doing this is easily enough to prove that he was just out for money and did not care about any of the Arawak Indians or his crew for that matter. He is said to have been greedy enough to take credit for finding land even though a crew member, Rodrigo, had found it first and it is also said that he is to have taken the $10,000 yearly pension for life (Source B).

            The second treachery Columbus was a part of was the taking of the Arawak Indians as slaves and servants, here is a quote from his journal: “They would make fine servants…With fifty men we could subjugate them and make them do whatever we want” (Source B). This just shows that he is a man who doesn’t care about other people’s feelings and is perfectly fine with killing and enslavement, two things America is against. In total, the records show that originally, Columbus rounded up 1,500 Indians, he chose 500 as the best, killed the other 1,000, and 200 died on the ship due to poor living conditions and starvation. The 300 who were left were auctioned off as slaves in Spain. Nearly all of the rest of the Arawak people were killed by foreign disease.

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User Comments
  1. martinpm

    On October 7, 2009 at 1:31 am

    good one!! there should be some debate on this

  2. Anonymous

    On October 7, 2009 at 1:35 pm

    Judging Columbus’s actions by today’s morals isn’t fair. Slavery was universally practiced back then (Even the Indians enslaved their fellow Indians), and the subjugation and exploitation of other peoples was expected of any powerful civilization.

  3. Kt D

    On October 13, 2009 at 2:12 pm

    Great post. It is so very true–in fact, I think it is a bit surprising that there has not been more national discussion on this issue. In many countries, International Indigenous Peoples Day is celebrated. Why not reinstate this holiday in the U.S. and remove the Columbus-worshipping day from the list? Sounds like a good plan to me.
    There is an interesting video on all of this at The video summarizes a few different viewpoints on this controversial holiday, citing multiple sources. It’s certainly worth watching/commenting on if you have even a few minutes:

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