Target: President Barack H. Obama
Goal: Stop federal recognition of Columbus Day.
Columbus Day continues to be recognized as a federal holiday despite the fact that Christopher Columbus was one of the most evil characters in history. When Columbus first arrived on an island in the Bahamas, he preyed on the kindness and hospitality of the natives and imprisoned those he believed could lead him to gold.
According to the historian Howard Zinn in his book, A People’s History of the United States, Columbus wrote, “[The Indians] are so naïve and so free with their possessions that no one who has not witnessed them would believe it. When you ask for something they have, they never say no. To the contrary, they offer to share with anyone…” You’d think that any compassionate human being would appreciate such qualities. However, Zinn goes on to note that Columbus ended his report to the Spanish monarchs by asking them for some help with his mission. In return he would give them “as much gold as they need … and as many slaves as they ask.”
To pay off the gold he owed his investors, he forced many Haitian natives above the age of fourteen to collect a gold quota. Those who did not meet the quota were killed; their hands were chopped off, and they died an unimaginably painful death.
Columbus is often celebrated as national hero. We tend forget that this man, whom elementary school kids innocently draw with magic markers, was actually a bloodthirsty tyrant who set out on a mission of conquest. He had no regard for human rights, and many natives died horrible deaths as a result of his actions. The time has come for us to universally recognize that Columbus was not a hero in any sense of the word. Sign this petition to let President Obama know that you would like to see Columbus Day discontinued.
Dear President Obama,
I would like to ask you to please end federal recognition of Columbus Day. As I’m sure you’re aware, Columbus committed some terrible acts in his lifetime. When he first arrived in the New World, he enslaved many of the native people and forced them to collect gold for him. Those who did not manage to collect enough gold had their hands cut off and they eventually bled to death.
Columbus was an evil tyrant, and it is not much of a stretch to say that he was guilty of genocide. He is not worthy of our collective praise. Mr. President, I believe that the time has come for us to universally acknowledge that Columbus was not a hero, but a bloodthirsty tyrant. Please put an end to the federal recognition of Columbus Day.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Philip Clifford via Flickr