On Monday, Americans across the country celebrate Columbus Day by remembering it exists, frantically trying to figure out if they have to go to work, and then being disappointed when they do. Literally no one uses Columbus Day for its intended purpose of remembering that Christopher Columbus exists. Not even the world’s greatest mattress sale could stop Columbus Day from being the worst federal holiday in America.
Christopher Columbus was terrible
It’s become pretty cliché at this point to note, because it’s been done to great effect by everyone from famous historians like Howard Zinn and Eduardo Galeano to snarky digital natives like Gawker and The Oatmeal, but Christopher Columbus was a terrible human being.
After sailing to the new world, Columbus didn’t really seem to care very much about establishing trade routes or interacting with foreign cultures. Instead, he saw some of the natives wearing gold jewelery and made it his life’s mission to kill and enslave as many of them as possible to steal as much of it as possible. On his return trips to the Americas, Columbus forced the natives to continually bring him gold. When someone brought him gold, he gave the person a little pendant to wear around his or her neck, which exempted that person from needing to bring him more gold—at least for a little while. The freedom granted by that pendant would eventually expire and, if a native didn’t bring Columbus more gold, he’d cut off a hand and make the native wear it around his or her neck.
Columbus also hunted natives for sport. Totally a great person who should be held up on the same level as George Washington or Martin Luther King, Jr.
The first thing I thought was they killed my baby, and they’re going to kill my wife.
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