What seemed impossible only a few years ago has now turned into a reality. What's next? Doing away with Christmas out of respect for non-Christians and non-believers? I bet this will happen not too far from now. So sad!
We should be able to celebrate both the native populations of the American continent and the arrival of Columbus. We would do well also to remember that the conquistadores were cruel to several peoples that received them openly. I am a descendant of people from both the old and the new worlds; I am proud of my Native American heritage as well as grateful to those that were adventurous and brave to cross the ocean to seek for a new life in this continent.
In México we call the October 12th "el día de la raza" (the race's day) meaning that we assimilated the spaniards unto the indigenous people making a "new race" the mestizos". This is not racist but the opposite. México has around 15% of white people, more than 75% of mestizos and the rest almost pure Indians. Unfortunately for the USA, you did not mix with each other and from that comes the problem. However, instead of now going all the other way, make something in between, and try to avoid that awful contention (see another article in here Today).
Columbus never set foot on what is today the United States of America, except a brief stop on what is today Puerto Rico. During his 1495 voyage: "In just two years under Columbus's governorship, over 125,000 of the 250,000–300,000 natives in Haiti were dead, many died from lethal forced labor in the mines, in which a third of workers died every six months. Within three decades, the surviving Arawak population numbered only in the hundreds. 'Virtually every member of the gentle race ... had been wiped out.' Disease, warfare and harsh enslavement contributed to the depopulation."
How did Christopher Columbus come to be regarded as a hero by the citizens of the United States? Washing Irving, the writer of Sleepy Hollow and Rip Van Winkle, wrote a work of historical fiction about Columbus in an attempt to create an early US mythology. It worked, and the US still lauds the Italian to this day.
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