We Need To Acknowledge the Destruction Columbus' Arrival Wrought

Ann Pompelio
Published: 10/06/2021

I understand why not everyone celebrates Columbus Day. The arrival of Columbus’ ships to the Americas five hundred years ago did not bode well for the indigenous people already here. The arrival of European ships four hundred years ago on this continent with enslaved Africans was not an auspicious start for those black people in the New World, nor for the millions of Africans who came after them or who descended from enslaved women and girls.

Maybe it is time we stop glorifying the man who opened America’s door to European gold seekers and colonizers. I can see why people descended from the first Americans, whose land was overrun and who were almost wiped out by “true Americans” don’t revere Columbus Day. Same for Americans whose ancestors came here in chains in the holds of ships.

Many now view Columbus’ arrival to the New World as the beginning of the demise of indigenous cultures of two continents, the continuation of enslavement of people from another continent, for the benefit of colonizers from the smallest continent. This American with Italian roots humbly understands why Columbus Day needs to be changed to another name or another holiday.

Topics: Indigenous Peoples' Day