Columbus Day, the best of America


Samantha Price

Columbus Day remains an important holiday for some Americans. Lorenzo Occhialini ‘20 dresses up for the festivities.

Noah Penasack, Op-Ed Editor

Disclosure: this article is written for satirical purposes only, the ideas herein do not reflect those of the author or the CavChron.  

The second Monday in October approaches, and with it, perhaps the proudest celebration of American culture possible. This day of revelry epitomizes what it means to American.

Although it was unofficially celebrated for decades previously, Columbus day was made a national holiday by President Franklin Delano Roosevelt in 1937. Modern historians consider this act to be one of Roosevelt’s most significant decisions. The initiative emerged as a way to celebrate the heritage of Italian-Americans as well as an American tradition of curiosity and exploration. Recently, however, the holiday has come under intense scrutiny for hypothetical actions that Columbus may or may not have executed. When historical figures are criticized in this manner, we must ask: is it reasonable to judge historical figures by their actions? Should someone who has become ingrained in American culture be removed because he initiated and carried out a holocaust?

The reality is that if the official name were to be changed, it is likely that the public would continue to refer to the holiday as “Columbus Day.” “Indigenous People’s Day” just doesn’t have the same ring to it. Who will say that they are going to their beach house over Indigenous People’s Day weekend? Some may say owning a beach house is a stereotype of wealthy, Columbus Day-celebrating Americans, but it is clearly the reality of most working class Americans. Everytime that someone did use this official name, they would have to consider, for a brief instant, the atrocities committed to establish the country we live in. What a drag that would be.

Changing the name would also be bad for small businesses. “Columbus Day” is not only printed in our calendars and written on our signs, but is the center of time honored traditions that bring local communities together such as while they are on vacation in the South of France. To do otherwise would be unpatriotic. Shouldn’t every family follow this model?

Rather than celebrating the oppression of a minority, Columbus Day actually acknowledges the suffering of one. When Italian immigrants first came to the US, they were targeted by many (probably the democrats). However, through hard work and perseverance (as well as a focus on discriminating against other groups), Italians came to define important parts of American culture. It would be foolish to eliminate a holiday that celebrates minorities in order to respect them.

When the young liberals call for an end to the holiday, they are requesting an extension of the trigger warnings and safe spaces they love so much. These policies restrict individual freedom of expression, and in effect homogenize the diverse opinions of Americans. In reality, when one stands up for Columbus Day, one is not only defending the history of our proud nation, but freedom of speech.

The response to all of this reveals just how out of touch democrats really are. While real working class Americans are saving money for their kids’ ivy league education, democrats are dealing with fake issues,  like cultural appropriation. I’ve never been angry when consumers from other countries appropriate my culture when they buy American goods. Why should anyone else be?

At the end of the day, we must all remember that if something happened in the late 19th – I mean 15th – centuries, far too much time has passed to hold anyone responsible. We all have made mistakes, and Columbus may or may not be any different. It is suspect that Columbus’ past actions are just coming out now that he is being scrutinized. Additionally, there may have been a look-a-like Columbus. At the end of the day, should many, many unfounded accusations and one’s own writings provide evidence to prevent a hero from rising to a position of honor?