Housekeeping: We're Off Monday
Monday is Columbus Day and Indigenous People's Day, and we're going to be off.
As always when we have a day off, there may be a prescheduled post or two, and if news breaks, we'll do our best to cover it. Otherwise, we'll see you Tuesday.
Enjoy the weekend!
[Image: Shutterstock.com/Ivan Kruk]
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Ajla on Oct 10, 2022
The history of Columbus Day in the US is a lot more complex than the comments here lead on. In 1892 it was declared as a one-time national holiday in large part to a response to the lynching of 11 Italian immigrants.
Despite (or probably because of) their growing population anti-Italian and anti-Catholic sentiment was very strong in the country during the mid to late 19th century.
The Italians and Catholics fought quite hard to make Columbus Day a permanent holiday. The nativist reaction to these attempts tended to be reminding people that the Vikings actually were actually the true discoverers of America, or put up Viking statues or talk about how the historical accounts of Columbus aren't very positive. I'm not accusing the anti-Columbus Day commenters here of being anti-Catholic or anti-Italian but just know that these arguments aren't exactly new.
So even though his name is attached to it, I think that Columbus Day in the US isn't really about Christopher Columbus. Indigenous People's Day is a thing that certainly should exist but the choice to replace CD with it also means replacing why CD came about.
Jeff S on Oct 11, 2022
Man's inhumanity to man. Mankind has done some really bad things but has also done some good things. Nothing wrong with remembering Columbus but we also need to remember the indigenous people. We call the indigenous Indians because Columbus's original voyage was to discover a shorter route to India for trade but ended up in the Americas so the natives were called Indians which I course they were the farthest thing from India. We should learn both the good and the bad in history. My fear is that many have not been taught history and that we have become too complacent. Will we recognize when another fascist like Hitler and Mussolini arise and will we be complacent as many Germans and Italians were not taking them serious?
FreedMike on Oct 11, 2022
For me, this whole Columbus Day controversy boils down to lack of empathy. If you put yourself in the shoes of the people who were done wrong - GRIEVOUSLY wrong - by Columbus, then you're going to have a real hard time celebrating Columbus Day. The same is true of "controversies" like having statues of Confederate generals in public spaces, and maintained with tax dollars. If you were Black, how would YOU feel about seeing YOUR tax money spent on lionizing people who sold your ancestors like a pack of gum, and then spent decades making sure that no one with your skin color had equal rights? Putting it lightly, I wouldn't feel real good about it. And how would you feel about your fellow citizens who insist that those statues stay up in the name of "history"? I wouldn't feel real good about them either.
But none of that is possible without empathy, which is in unbelievably short supply in the United States of America in 2022. And as far as "cancelling historical figures" is concerned, well...some deserve to be cancelled, and some histories deserve to be thought through differently. Time changes our perspective on quite a few things.