It's Time For America To Stop Glorifying Columbus's Violent Colonialism
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Politics and Activism

It's About Damn Time America Stopped Glorifying Christopher Columbus's Violent Colonialism

Make sure you take the opportunity to actually celebrate Indigenous Peoples' Day during your long weekend.

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It's About Damn Time America Stopped Glorifying Christopher Columbus's Violent Colonialism

Celebrating Indigenous Peoples' Day — opposed to Columbus Day — is important because this seemingly small gesture recognizes indigenous peoples' historic and continuous relations to their homeland, reconciles non-Indians' relationships with the indigenous people, and delivers conscious effort to dismantle settler colonialism. Settler colonialism is a system of genocidal, colonial policies which actively wipes out the people that already live in an area by extracting their resources and settling into their land. Therefore, when we celebrate Indigenous Peoples' Day, this is a tangible step in attempt to counter the colonial concept of white discovery by acknowledging that the indigenous people were the original inhabitants of this land.

To understand the necessity of appreciating Indigenous Peoples' Day, it is essential to first understand the pain suffered by the native peoples at the hands of settler colonialists. In 1492, settler colonialists like Christopher Columbus sought to systematically replace the indigenous societies in the lands they stumbled upon with European societies.

This logic of colonialism and replacement never truly ended. Rather, it has grown less visible. Even today, Indigenous people are forced to endure the kidnapping of their children, the violation of their land and water rights, the sex trafficking of their children and women, and blatant disenfranchisement. By acknowledging the history of our nation's land, this would be the first step toward decolonizing and appreciating the diversity of Indigenous culture.

Therefore, whenever you hear someone refer to this long weekend as Columbus Day weekend, try correcting them and genuinely teaching them about the historical context behind Indigenous Peoples' Day. To be frank, it's about damn time for America to stop glorifying European settler colonialism and the mass genocide and rape of Indigenous peoples, perpetrated by Columbus's white-washed, imperialist vision for the new world. Acknowledging the systemic, racially-charged injustices within Indigenous Peoples' history is so crucial to fully grasping the whole history of our nation's land.

This may seem like an unnecessary, miniscule gesture to many people; however, by acknowledging and celebrating Indigenous Peoples' Day with this kind of meaningful conversation, this is the first step towards the process of decolonization and reconciling with the brutalized populations of the Indigenous Peoples living within our nation today.

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