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Reconsider Columbus Day: Resource Roundup and Open Thread

If all you know for sure about Columbus Day is that some guy did something in 1492, consider spending part of your "holiday" today learning more. Then reconsider Columbus Day altogether, because it's a truly shameful part of US history that should be remembered but certainly not celebrated.

someecards image of a man in a suit of armor that reads Let's celebrate Columbus Day by walking into someone's house and telling them we live there now.
To really celebrate, we'd also have to kill that someone.

A good place to start with Columbus Day is by brushing up on some history, or learning it for the first time. Here's a video explaining some of the real history of Columbus' voyage to "The Americas":

And here's a timeline from the Daily Kos detailing Christopher Columbus' crimes against humanity.

If you have the day off, you might check out the Indigenous Peoples Day events happening in your area. Indian Country has a list of several celebrations, exhibits, lectures, and cultural events that would make good Columbus Day alternatives and can support Native communities at the same time.

At home on your computer? Tune in to this discussion at Democracy Now! with indigenous activists at Fort Lewis College in Durango, Colorado, who are pushing for schools to teach the "real history of the Americas" and to celebrate indigenous culture. You can also follow the #FuckColumbusDay thread on Twitter to read more about what activists are doing today to push back against the holiday and to join in the conversation.

Join the call for a National Holiday for Native Americans "to be celebrated by all citizens of America and people around the world" at petition online.

Says Mark Anthony Rolo of the White Earth Tribal and Community College in the StarTribune:

For American Indians, Columbus Day is not a typical holiday. We don't celebrate 500 years of being dominated, exploited, enslaved and nearly exterminated by Europeans. But we do celebrate our survival.

Have you read any other responses to Columbus Day or have suggestions for alternative ways to celebrate? Share them in the comments!

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15 comments have been made. Post a comment.

Another Great Resource

Teachers and kids

I'm not sure I'd call it "US History", but I get the point.

If you've got kids, or are a teacher, check out "Rethinking Columbus" by Bill Bigelow and "Encounter" by Jane Yolen.

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