Reconsider Columbus Day

Jamilah King Oct 11, 2010

There’s a serious push to shed new light on the legacy of Columbus Day. All ConquistaDora the Explorer jokes aside, a coalition of groups have mounted a public awareness campaign since 2009 that urges people to reconsider the national holiday that recognizes the pillaging explorer who re-discovered the Americas.

In the video, a range of mostly people of color uncover to the “ugly truth that’s been ignored for way too long” about the holiday. “Columbus committed heinous crimes against the indigenous people of the Caribbean, millions of natives throughout the Americas, and Columbus set the stage for the slave trade in the New World,” the video says. In the end, it’s a call to educate the public and acknowledge the ways in which Columbus’s painful legacy is still relevant.

In 2009, the Wall Street Journal reported that Columbus Day is slowly sailing off the of the national calendar as several cities, mostly in California, have already abandoned the holiday altogether.

The Reconsider Columbus Day Project, which includes Rethinking Schools and the United Federation of Taino People, are instead pushing for a national recognition of Indigenous Peoples Day, in honor of the millions decimated after Columbus’s arrival. And if you like the video that’s above, the project is also asking viewers to sign a petition asking Congress for a national holiday for Native Americans.

This article was originally published on ColorLines.

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