According to Columbus’s own 1496 census of Hispanola - what is now Haiti and the Dominican Republic - the island was home to more than 1 million residents. Twenty years later there were 12,000.
He brought upon the indigenous people a wave of terror that amounted to genocide and when he had no more native people to enslave he started importing them from Africa. By many accounts he is the founder of the American slave trade.
To name all of the horrors native peoples and others like African slaves endured because of the exploits of Christopher Columbus would be impossible, but it is possible to see that those crimes still have serious consequences today.
And that is why Christopher Columbus no longer deserves to be honored as a hero but rather someone who played tragic part in the history of our great nation. Columbus Day is a relic of what our story was before historians and others began to view his contributions in a different light. Now it is time to stop celebrating a man that - for many - played a painful role in the history of their people.
The state of South Dakota as well as several cities across the country including Los Angeles, San Francisco, Berkeley and Seattle have chosen to honor America’s original residents rather than her original usurper.
It’s time we ask all states to follow in South Dakota’s footsteps and rename Columbus day to honor America’s original residents. Sign the petition and ask your state to replace Columbus day with Indigenous People’s Day.