Should Indigenous Peoples’ Day Replace Columbus Day?

An+image+of+Christopher+Columbus.+His+portrait%2C+although+serene%2C+perpetuates+a+facade+of+undeserved+regality+and+honor.%0A

Art/Photo by Biography.com

An image of Christopher Columbus. His portrait, although serene, perpetuates a facade of undeserved regality and honor.

Westley Kim, Staff Writer

   In 1492, Columbus sailed the ocean blue. While this is true, he also did several other, less favorable things. Because of this, a growing dispute about changing Columbus Day to Indigenous Peoples’ Day has become apparent.

   Personally, I am in favor of the change because his actions at several points within his life were unacceptable.

    According to History.com, Christopher Columbus wrote in his diary that the Native Americans “would make fine servants… With fifty men we could subjugate them all and make them do whatever we want.” Columbus eventually did carry out this plan to “subjugate” these people, carrying upwards to one thousand back home to Europe with him, damaging their population with disease, threatening other indigenous peoples with mutilation if they didn’t meet a quota of gold to give him, and sexually assaulting and whipping an indigenous woman. 

   Yet all of these atrocious acts done by him remain largely unnoticed by the public. Stephanie Perez (10) is strongly in favor of the change to Indigenous Peoples’ Day. She said that we should “fight to remove a name that should not be [celebrated on] a day that signifies the beginning of the ruining of many people’s lives.”. 

   While this change can be viewed as positive by many, there are those who don’t fully support the change. Raphael Francis Rebucas (10) argues that “respecting the indigenous peoples and their culture while celebrating the legacy of one of the world’s greatest sailors should be a good thing.” He believes that there can be a middle ground that acknowledges Columbus’s mistakes while also celebrating indigenous peoples’ heritage. “I think the best way to address this situation is to keep both titles of the day, as opposed to [attempting] to erase history by masking Columbus Day with something else, as important as it is to respect the indigenous peoples.” 

   Although it can be argued that Columbus was important in connecting Europe and the Americas together, this discovery doesn’t at all excuse the bad things that he did. Even if he made contributions to global connections, he still destroyed thousands of peoples’ lives, and should not be celebrated for his awful behavior.