Justice

Why We Shouldn't Celebrate Columbus Day

October 12th 2015

By:
Thor Benson

Being compared to the Nazi SS leader Heinrich Himmler isn't exactly a compliment, and Christopher Columbus has received that criticism.

While many have depicted Columbus as a benevolent explorer who discovered the New World, he wasn't particularly kind, and he didn't discover the New World. We now have evidence many explorers had reached the Americas before him. Also, he only visited islands near North America; he never made it to North America.

RELATED: Christopher Columbus' Journal Will Make You Cringe

So who is Christopher Columbus? In short, he was a greedy, destructive and vile man. Recognizing this, cities like Seattle have switched from celebrating Columbus Day to celebrating "Indigenous Peoples' Day." Instead of celebrating a man who raped and murdered all over the Caribbean and elsewhere, they celebrate those who lived in the Americas first and faced those atrocities.

Is it time to abolish Columbus Day?

Is it time to abolish Columbus Day?

Posted by ATTN: on Saturday, October 10, 2015

Here are three reasons we shouldn't celebrate Columbus Day, as a country.

1. He decimated the native population.

According to a census taken by Columbus' men, in 1496 there were more than 1 million natives on the island of Haiti. By 1516, there were 12,000. By 1555, there were zero full-blooded natives left on the island. Why is this? Columbus enslaved natives and killed any person who dared to resist him.

This isn't the only native population that was decimated by Columbus and his men. During his reign over other nearby islands, it has been said that more than 50,000 native committed mass suicide to avoid being enslaved by his men. Everywhere they went, from the Caribbean to Central America to South America, Columbus and his men killed many and raped many.

RELATED: Why We Should Abolish Columbus Day Now

2. He essentially started slavery in America.

Columbus was the first to instigate organized slave trading in the Americas, as far as we know, and he basically created the platform for what later became the slavery of the U.S. He was known for enslaving natives in many of the places he occupied during his quests, but he eventually started trading African slaves when the native populations died off. Not only did his men rape and kill the natives, they began importing other people to oppress.

How did his men treat slaves? There are stories of men who were chained together by their necks being beheaded so the Spaniards wouldn't have to bother to unchain them. Furthermore, he started a slave trade where children would be sent places to be sold for sex.

3. He was even terrible to his own people.

As Laurence Bergreen points out in his book Columbus: The Four Voyages, Columbus didn't even treat his own men and women well. Columbus is said to have had more than a dozen people whipped and shackled by the neck for purchasing meat and bread without his permission while they were starving. At another point, he "ordered a woman to be stripped and placed on the back of a donkey, 'stark naked,' to be whipped because she falsely claimed to be pregnant," the book says. He also had one woman's tongue cut out for "speaking ill of the Admiral and his brothers," it says. There are many accounts of Columbus torturing his people and killing them for ridiculous reasons.

Considering all this, Columbus Day clearly shouldn't be a thing, and it's time to change it.

For an illustrated explanation of why Christopher Columbus was terrible, be sure to visit The Oatmeal's graphic about him. Here's part of it:

columbus day