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Columbus Day and its Portrayal in the Media

Columbus Day

Coming up is one of the most controversial holidays in the United States: Columbus Day.

The holiday has come under fire by people of all backgrounds and different ethnic identities as a day that glorifies and supports a man responsible for the illegal possession and genocide of Native American lands.

Regardless of how the day is viewed by the people of the United States, we’re going to take a deep dive into the way it is shown in the media and how that aligns with the common thoughts of the people.

‘Christopher Columbus: The Discovery’

One of the most famous movies about Columbus Day and Christopher Columbus himself is called “Christopher Columbus: The Discovery.” This film analyzes his voyage to the Western Hemisphere from a historical standpoint and makes no mention of whether or not Columbus himself was a great man or a perpetrator of genocide and the theft of land.

"Christopher Columbus the Discovery." (Image credit: Warner Bros.)
“Christopher Columbus the Discovery.” (Image credit: Warner Bros.)

Before looking at how people who have had their lands taken and have been displaced from their place of birth feel about a day glorifying a person who did this, it is important to understand Columbus’s personal background.

Many people believe that Columbus was a Jewish man living in Spain during the time of the Spanish Inquisition. During this time period many non-Christian peoples were being told to either convert, leave or be killed. Columbus with his Hidden Diversity of Judaism chose to leave and voyage to the New World.

Now does Columbus being displaced from his home and his life excuse him doing it to other people? Of course not, however it is important to note that Columbus himself has hidden diversities that played a role in why he ever went to the New World in the first place.

“I do not believe that Christopher Columbus should be exalted for what he did; regardless of the time or circumstance taking land and killing people is not OK,” said Alex Wise, a Colorado State University student.

I do not believe that Christopher Columbus should be exalted for what he did.

The idea of Columbus being an evil person and more of a conqueror and murderer than an explorer has become common in the minds of many different people. This narrative has now become a part of the mainstream media. We often see people around this time of year going to the media to express their disgust with this holiday and the premise of it.

People that have been removed from their homes and forced to go somewhere new or live under a government that does not acknowledge their history or rights to the land, generally these people believe that Columbus should not be exhalted and have a federally recognized holiday named after him.

Indigenous people (Photo via Unsplash)
Indigenous people (Photo by Dulcey Lima on Unsplash)

“I personally have never been removed by force from my home, however I fully understand and support those who have, it makes you adapt to a new culture and find a new lifestyle which isn’t an easy thing to do. As well it is so difficult to leave everything behind and start a new life when you don’t willingly choose to,” said Austin McAnarney, another CSU student.

I personally have never been removed by force from my home, however I fully understand and support those who have, it makes you adapt to a new culture and find a new lifestyle which isn’t an easy thing to do.

Ultimately Columbus Day has come under fire for holding up a man who committed horrible acts against a group of people and forced the removal of said culture from their land. The media and many people are shifting their focus toward support of the cultures that were forced from home.

— By EGrant

Evan Grant believes it is important for people from all over the world with all different stories to have a medium where their stories can be shared. His content is relevant to readers because he has experience seeing the world and the different people and cultures all over the world and he has a good voice to share different stories. Grant is passionate about sports, and travel, and religion. These are main parts to many different cultures and Grant’s knowledge on them produces pieces about many different places and people and cultures.

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