Cities around the United States are being asked to dump Columbus Day for good in favor of a holiday that would instead celebrate Native Americans. While so many of us have always been taught in elementary school that “In fourteen hundred ninety-two, Columbus sailed the ocean blue,” historians have pointed out that Christopher Columbus was, in fact, an awful human being. Not only has the discoverer long received credit for accidentally discovering land that had already been discovered, but he also sought to enslave the indigenous people he encountered. And that’s still the Rated G version.
Instead of Columbus Day, activist groups would like the U.S. to recognize Indigenous Peoples Day on the second Monday of October. At least nine major cities are recognizing the new holiday this year, according to the USA Today, but while the movement continues and gains support in other cities, Italian-American groups are fighting back because this day is also supposed to be about their heritage. What’s really strange about this debate is that both sides are fighting over a holiday that is reportedly “one of the most inconsistently celebrated.” Perhaps the only solution to this ongoing struggle is to simply declare today, once and for all, Dusty Rhodes Day. Happy birthday, American Dream!
For more on the quest to undiscover Columbus, anchors Tom Storey and Briana Lane weigh in on today’s episode of The Desk.