End Recognition of Columbus Day as a National Holiday


Target: Barack Obama, United States President

Goal: Cease federal recognition of Columbus Day as a holiday

In 1492 Christopher Columbus came to the Americas, liked what he saw, and claimed land for Spain. Throughout this process he captured, enslaved, and killed thousands of natives. We celebrate his actions by celebrating a holiday in his name and we shouldn’t. Tell Barack Obama that we should cease federal recognition of Columbus Day as a holiday.

During Columbus’ first voyage to the “New World,” he encountered the Taíno people, who are now extinct, and took advantage of them. He noted in his journal how kind they were and remarked how easy it would be to conquer and govern the entire tribe. The Taíno people were very welcoming to him and his crew; they were giving when Columbus needed something from them. These things included gold, shelter, and labor. Still, Columbus observed their lack of proper protections and arms and then proceeded to capture ten to twenty-five of them before returning to Spain.

On his second voyage, he again stopped in Hispaniola and returned to the Taíno people. This time he brought a friend, Michele, who documented Columbus’s gift to him, a captured Taíno woman. He wrote in his journal that she at first was unwilling to have sex with him until he whipped her and she screamed uncontrollably. After doing this Columbus’ friend says that she acted “as if she was brought up in a school of whores.” This journal entry presents people with the idea that Columbus was more than likely knowingly aiding rape along with slavery. Tired of the mistreatment the Taínos retaliated by destroying a fort that was built during the first trip, but they were punished by having to meet a payment schedule for gold. Columbus decided that people over the age of fourteen needed to provide a certain amount of gold every three months; if they did not meet these requirements they had their hands cut off and were left to bleed to death.

Before Columbus landed, Hispaniola had an estimated population of 300,000. When Columbus arrived he began a slave system and brought disease to the island. Through enslavement, overwork, and disease the Taíno people went extinct. Columbus Day is celebrated in Spain and in the Americas, except Canada, and why? Columbus began a genocide that wiped out an entire people. This holiday foolishly teaches children that Columbus’ actions were not wrong at all and that they are cause for celebration although they are not. The holiday also leads to the misconception that Columbus was the first explorer of the Americas when he was not; he was only the first European to settle there.

We cannot continue to fight genocide in other countries and lead with the idea that it was okay to establish America by it; it isn’t. Native Americans were indefinitely the first people on this land and Christopher Columbus took advantage of their welcoming behavior. By signing this petition you are letting Barack Obama know that you are done leading by the wrong example. You are demanding the end of federal recognition of Columbus Day as a holiday.


Dear President Obama,

As an advocate for human rights I feel that it would be wrong to continue to federally recognize Columbus Day as a holiday any longer. Celebrating Columbus Day to honor Christopher Columbus leads to children wrongly believing that he was the first European in the Americas when he was not. It also promotes the idea that we should celebrate genocide and slavery.

Christopher Columbus landed in the Canary Islands, went to Hispaniola and enslaved, raped, and murdered Taíno natives. As you may know, Columbus was not the first European to discover the Americas and was only the first to stay. During his stay he began the decline of an entire population. Why celebrate this every year? His simple arrival in the Americas should not be reason enough.

There is evidence that Columbus knowingly aided the rape of Taíno women. Rape culture is still a current problem in America today; we should not promote any aspect of it. I am requesting that Columbus Day be denounced as a holiday in the United States. No form of slavery, genocide, or torture should be accepted or promoted by our government, let alone be celebrated.


[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: Derek Jensen via Wikimedia Commons

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  1. Columbus was a butcher,and like most of the “explorers that came after him,he was interested in only one thing gold. He did NOT discover America. He did not even rediscover America. Other than the Natives and Vikings many others got here long before he did. Why should we celebrate the voyage of a sailor from Genoa who got lost and thought he was in India?

  2. I (sarcastically) love how Columbus invaded, enslaved, raped, pillaged, plundered, murdered,and took over the land of peaceful indigenous culture and yet they are referred to as savages.. How does that work?

  3. taylor daniels says:

    you need to redo all of your thinking because in your little theory you had up top said he was the first European to settle in the “New Land” and then is your so called petition letter you said he wasn’t soooo…..

  4. Jake Eagleshield says:

    Do not do Columbus Day. Do not do Native Awareness Day,or other such things. A waste of my time.
    I do agree with Mr. Bowen though. As a Native American,why should I celebrate some guy who had to sail for Spain,because he wouldn’t have a country of his own for another four hundred years,got lost,thought he was somewhere else,and then proceeded to murder thousands of people?

  5. Empuriabrava says:

    Instead of Columbus Day we should celebrate “Indigenous peoples day” more because celebrating Columbus Day is like celebrating the Navajo people being enslaved,raped and murdered. Even the Amercian Natives oppose Columbus Day

  6. This is another example of white america misleading our children about it’s history. Hell, let’s call it what it is lying about America’s history. This man was pure EVIL. This is just one of MANY examples of white america’s dishonesty.

    • Joseph

      If you hate “Dishonest White America” so much, take you butt back to Black Africa and you won’t have to worry about it.

      • Well then, ironically, it’s Anglo-American that were the one invaded on the Native American then later on, the one who BROUGHT African American over here as slaves. Your statement is full of contradiction and hypocrisy, typical ignorant.

  7. Gail Schreck says:

    This day should me a memorial day for the Native American Indians that were killed and had their land taken away from them. All of this that happened to them has changed the way we today would have been living, if we would even be here today.

  8. Blacks are the original So-called NATIVES of America

  9. Yusef Mustafa says:

    The soul of Columbus, like many others, will burn in hell for their sick, demonic actions taken against God’s people!

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