As another October is upon us, the debate continues in the United States about whether to continue recognizing Christopher Columbus as the “discoverer” of America or be honest with ourselves about his unheroic legacy as a mass murderer.
Many cities — starting with Berkeley, California, way back in 1992 — have renamed Columbus Day "Indigenous Peoples Day" to honor the Native Americans whose home was invaded as they were killed during Columbus’ journey.
RIP to all the Native Americans who are completely forgotten and have their genocide glamorized and covered up by this holiday. #ColumbusDay— Denizcan James (@MrFilmkritik) October 9, 2017
"Learning about the history of Columbus and transforming this day into a celebration of indigenous people and a celebration of social justice ... allows us to make a connection between this painful history and the ongoing marginalization, discrimination, and poverty that indigenous communities face to this day," Seattle city council member Kshama Sawant said after the city voted to change the day's name back in 2014.
The exploitation of Native Americans' suffering extends beyond the government’s choice to continue dedicating a day to Columbus.
Retail stores also continue to take full advantage of the ability to advertise “Columbus Day Sales” leading up to the day — masking the horrific historical event as a good reason to go out and spend money.
Of course, we know that in the land of consumerism, any holiday that helps promote sales and bring in business is fair game, even if it means offending a minority community and glorifying genocide just to sell clothes and shoes.
Is "Indigenous Peoples Day" not catchy enough to slap on a sales pitch?
#ColumbusDay sales should just be: if you can steal it, it’s yours.— Amy Shanker (@AmyShanker) October 9, 2017
Very confused as to what #ColumbusDay sales entail. Do I go into a store and claim it as my own? Does a wealthy benefactor send me there?— Emma Shaw (@emshawunc) October 9, 2017
I’m just gonna go out on a limb here and assume these #ColumbusDay sales mean I can just roll up in a store and take what I want.. right🙂— K. Dom (@___shesgolden) October 9, 2017
Instead of stores closing on #ColumbusDay, they should stay open n donate a % of sales to Native American scholarship funds or somethin 🤷♀️— speedin (@EdiesTweeties) October 9, 2017
When shopping #ColumbusDay sales this weekend, don't forget to use promo codes such as "rape" and "pillage"— Chelsea Mm (@smelseamig) October 6, 2017
#ColumbusDay sales means get lost in a store then take items from a person who has ownership and kill off as many customers as possible— Derrick Richardson (@DerrickRichar13) October 9, 2017
To add insult to injury, the bulk of these sales end on Columbus Day. Even the blissfully ignorant shopaholics who don't care about what Columbus Day really celebrates can't even receive discounts on the true day of "celebration."
So, remind us again what good it does for anyone to recognize Columbus Day?
Banner and thumbnail credit: Reuters, Eduardo Munoz