Today, this year, Indigenous Peoples Day falls on what is still in many places in our country, Columbus Day. A sad part of a country trying to maintain and remember history is also to ignore painful parts of history that as we evolve realize were not really the glorious moments they were considered as when they were actually happening.
This country, my America was not “discovered” as our history too kindly speaks. This beautiful land was already the home of another race and culture. Columbus himself was a cruel man. And when history is taught it should no longer be taught with Christopher Columbus as a hero of the modern world. Yes, the history must be learned but not with him as a discoverer and hero in the narrative of the story.
I don’t celebrate “Columbus Day”, I haven’t in a very very longtime. Not until as an adult I learned both sides of the story did I realize good old Chris was no one to admire or celebrate, nor should the founding of the Americas be a happy celebration. History, our history is riddled with oppression and violence. And I fear history is more prone to repeat itself the more we glamorize and memorialize history in only the way we wish it would have happened instead of the truth.
It’s way past time that just like with news media, we need to demand that history be retold like it actually was. No added rhetoric, no admonished glory to the side we stand on. But just plain facts, it will tell a story of truth if we face facts instead of just believing whatever it is we want to believe to make ourselves feel good. Then and only then will we as a country maybe not keep repeating the same historical tragedies.