Friday Debate: Columbus Day

Friday Deabte

Welcome to Friday Debate, a feature on cup of tea with that book, please, where every Friday a question will be posted that tantalize the brain and expands our horizons. For this week’s question: 

846px-Portrait_of_a_Man,_Said_to_be_Christopher_Columbus

Columbus Day is coming up this weekend, a day that we take to recognize the explorer, Christopher Columbus. People, across the country, attend parades and other events commemorating this explorer, while school children partake in the jubilation of getting a day off from school. However, in recent years, the history and the heritage of Christopher Columbus has changed. The legacy that he has left behind has been tarnished and continuous to be debated to this day.

Columbus’ tyrannical nature, his role in the extinction of the Taino people and promotion of slavery are some of the facts has changed public opinion of Christopher Columbus. Some people have questioned whether we should continue commemorating this man. But we must realize, it isn’t’ just a day we need to be concerned about. There are countries and cities named after him and monuments erected in his honor. In New York City, there is a traffic circle named after him (Columbus Circle) and statue of him in the middle of it. His status maybe in question but his legacy extends very far.

Renaming Columbus Day to Indigenous People’s Day, a day celebrating Native Americans and their culture, has gained momentum, with some U.S cities recognizing the day these recent years. But some are still adamant on celebrating Columbus Day, especially those of Italian ancestry where Columbus Day gives Italian Americans the recognition they get so little of. Nevertheless, Columbus’ sketchy past is still part of our history, a history that we need to start acknowledging.

This ongoing debate leads me to ask these two questions:

Please post any comments you have below.

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