In lieu of the past holiday I came to the realization that there are a lot of questions to be answered as to why we celebrate a man known for a blunder that ended in disease and genocide. Of course Columbus is not remembered for his atrocities but of his arduous journey to discover a new land, the land we call America today. After discussing among some drinks at a local bar me and my friends decided to conduct a social experiment and see what our other friends and close acquaintances believed to be the reason around his well known “heroism” that celebrate to this day. We were met with none other than he was the man who discovered the United States.
Todays technologies lend availability to a whole slew of knowledge at a thumbs touch. So while we sat enjoying the three day weekend we searched Columbus through google. While we awaited our page to load (damn wi-fi) we asked ourselves if we celebrate someone discover America in 1492 then how come we didn’t fight for independence from the Spanish monarchy instead of the British? How come America has’t been slowly being developed since the “discovery”? Also if there is a day for Columbus then why not Leif Erikson? The viking explorer who touched down in North America almost 500 years prior? The end all question also being how does one discover a land that has already been developed by a multitude of cultures.
Needless to say our search came up with the right amount of information to support our inquires. Columbus actually screwed up his journey to secure an Asian spice route and ended up in what is the Bahamas. He exploited them, slaughtered them to become the ruling factor to secure the riches that the local civilization had acquired through generations. Columbus thought bringing back jewels and gold to the Spanish monarchy would please them, as well as the young virgin girls would be suitable for the high ranking officials. Columbus basically started what we refer to as the transatlantic slave trade, what us Americans find to be one of the greatest atrocities of our history by the way.
In conclusion to celebrate Columbus day I sat sitting around good company enjoying my day off but feeling a little confused inside. Do we as Americans deserve to celebrate someone who basically ended up on an island in the Caribbean by mistake then raped and pillaged and created a slave trade all for his own greed? I find that most people look past the explorations of Columbus because why argue a three day weekend? That’s why I must ask, is this holiday a day to remember a hero? or is it nothing but a farce.