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Monday October 10th is Columbus Day in the US, or, as I prefer to call, it, National Indigenous Peoples' Day.

I'm a little ambivalent about a day celebrating Christopher Columbus and his "accomplishments." On one hand, he "discovered" America for the Europeans, and people who had a crappy life in Europe had the opportunity to flee to the New World and start their life over. That included my own ancestors. On the other hand, Columbus was a racist who saw gentle, peaceful natives and envisioned a whole race of slaves waiting to be subjugated, all for the greed and avarice of European conquerors. And this is what happened.

The Italian-Americans are responsible for Columbus Day because Columbus was Italian. If we're going to honor a great Italian, how about Guiseppe Garibaldi, who united a fragmented Italy in the 19th century? Or how about honoring Martin Scorcese or Robert De Niro?

Actually, I'm fine with using this day to honor the native peoples of the Americas, who never got a fair deal from the moment in 1492 that Columbus arrived in the New World. Even today on the Indian reservations there is a lot of unemployment, alcoholism and drug abuse.
 

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There is ample and irrefutable evidence that Norse explorers (Leif Eirikson and others, one expedition was even lead by a woman (Leif's sister)) landed in the New World around 500 years before Columbus, so not sure why he remains such a big name over there. Just saying


I do realise Columbus sort of opened up for large-scale immigration though.
 

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We could change it to Illegal Immigration Day, or maybe Lost and Found Day.
 
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