Hale: Columbus Day should be day of mourning

EllieAna Hale

We have been celebrating white colonizing men for centuries too long. 

As young children, we were taught to look up to the “incredible” men that “created” and “discovered” our country. 

When we grew older, we realized that our history books are filled with lies between the lines of text. 

When we call Oct. 12 “Columbus Day,” we are celebrating mass genocide, colonialism and whitewashed information.

So let’s start with a brief history lesson:

It’s reported that at Columbus’s arrival, North American lands were populated with approximately 112.5 million Indigenous People. Their land stretches from Alaska to New Mexico.

In the span of seven years, the Spanish who Columbus led, murdered more than 12 million individuals.

Most were found hung, tortured and raped.

Throughout history, after Columbus’s time, the terror grew due to his influence. 

The Trail of Tears.

Cultural assimilation.


All because Columbus took the wrong turn in the ocean. 

Movies and children’s books romanticized the idea of his cruel actions, writing them off as helping the natives. Generic textbooks writing off a genocide as generosity. 

Yet this land was not ours to begin with.

There is nothing noble about the “discovery” of America. For we are the intruders on stolen land.

Through his “promise” of generosity and kindness, Columbus turned around and systematically enslaved and murdered Indigenous People. 

In the same way that Germany does not celebrate Hitler’s genocide and deplorable actions, we should not celebrate Columbus Day, either. 

Stop rewriting history to fit the white-washed colonial standards our racist and deplorable historical leaders murdered civilizations to achieve. 

Rather we should begin mourning the millions of dead.

The millions objectified and discriminated against.

The millions who had their culture stripped from them.

For Columbus Day is not a celebration, but rather a time to mourn.