Columbus Day or Indigenous People’s Day?

A friend of mine asked me why we now “hate” Columbus. It is a great question, and there is an ongoing discussion about our constant reevaluation of history. I told him that although the past does not change, history is always changing. It changes because historians and the general public become more privy to information not previously known, and historians and the general public view facts differently based on evolving methodologies and values. Change is a natural thing, and we should accept it. In a scene from Disney Pixar’s film Ratatouille, Remy’s father tells the young mouse, “You can’t change nature.” In response the young mouse replied, “Nature is change.” Likewise, history is always changing, and public opinion will someday recognize that. I hold a deep regard for Columbus as an explorer, and I recognize that it is wrong to judge him by today’s standards, but I cannot deny facts that complicate his legacy, which is why I support the initiative to move towards recognizing indigenous peoples of the American continent.

 

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