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Columbus Day Essay

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A Holiday of Hate
1
Shenoa Loewy
English Prep, Grade 11
“A Holiday of Hate”
March 1, 2017
Over 400 years ago, an explorer by the name of Christopher Columbus, received funding from
the Spanish Queen to seek out exotic trading goods from India. Though he did not realize it at the time, he

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A Holiday of Hate
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was about to discover a new world, one of sprawling desserts, crystal blue lakes, and of course, thousands
of native people. When Columbus discovered this foreign land, he brought with him a new age of
European expansion and colonization. With this colonization, came the genocide and enslavement of
Native-American people. Today, the United States of America celebrates “Columbus Day” to
commemorate the beginning of American colonization and the spirit of exploration. This has become
extremely controversial, given the atrocities that followed Columbus. Natives all over the country have
called for the holiday to be changed to “Indigenous Peoples Day.” It is true that the holiday should be
changed to “Indigenous Peoples Day” due to the decades of discrimination and suffering that the natives
endured, as well as the changing political and social climate in America.
The years that followed Columbus’s travels were host to the slaughter of thousands of natives
from the plains of Arizona to the mountains of Lima. The superior technological power of the Europeans
made it nearly impossible for the primitive natives to defend themselves. Those who were not killed were
sold into the slave trade, “The New World was discovered within the same timeframe as when slave trade
had begun to arise. Thousands of the Taino, or “Indians” as Columbus had referred to them, were shipped
out to be traded internationally.” (Lassitter and Wirt, 2017). Columbus’s discovery also began the spread
of Catholicism to the natives. Due to the doctrine of discovery, the settlers believed they had a right to
claim non-Christian lands. This became the justification for the colonization and the forced religious
assimilation. This lead to a distaste for the holiday from some Americans, “Dating back around 200 years,
the nonreligious had been adverse to this celebration.” (Lassitter and Wirt, 2017). This was due to the
impression that Columbus was attempting to spread Catholic influence. Many natives have made the
legitimate claims that these events should be represented, but not shown in a positive light, which they
believe Columbus Day does.
The current social climate has shifted within the last few years to address the atrocities that
occurred for marginalized people. Native-Americans have begun to receive the treatment that they
deserve as Americans, and the discrimination against them is beginning to dissipate. Due to this social

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A Holiday of Hate 1 Shenoa Loewy English Prep, Grade 11 “A Holiday of Hate” March 1, 2017 Over 400 years ago, an explorer by the name of Christopher Columbus, received funding from the Spanish Queen to seek out exotic trading goods from India. Though he did not realize it at the time, he A Holiday of Hate 2 was about to discover a new world, one of sprawling desserts, crystal blue lakes, and of course, thousands of native people. When Columbus discovered this foreign land, he brought with him a new age of European expansion and colonization. With this colonization, came the genocide and enslavement of Native-American people. Today, the United States of America celebrates “Columbus Day” to commemorate the beginning of American colonization and the spirit of exploration. This has become extremely controversial, given the atrocities that followed Columbus. Natives all over the country have called for the holiday to be changed to “Indigenous Peoples Day.” It is true that the holiday should be changed to “Indigenous Peoples Day” due to the decades of discrimination and suffering that the natives endured, as well as the changing political and social climate in America. The years that followed Columbus’s travels were host to the slaughter of thousands of natives from the plains of Arizona to the mountains of Lima. The superior technological power of the Europeans made it nearly impossible for the primitive natives to defend themselves. Those who were not kille ...
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