Skip to main content

Many nations celebrate Christopher Columbus' arrival in the Americas as a holiday.

It's Día de la Raza in many parts of Latin America, Día de las Culturas in Costa Rica, Discovery Day in the Bahamas, Día de la Hispanidad and Fiesta Nacional in Spain, as Día de las Américas in Uruguay and as Día de la Resistencia Indígena in Venezuela.

In the US, Columbus Day became a federal holiday in 1934.  Why so late?

Not for any nationalistic reasons, Columbus made it to the Americas but never to what would be the United States mainland.

Italian-Americans observe Columbus Day as a celebration of their heritage.

Due to lobbying by the Knights of Columbus, Congress and President Franklin Delano Roosevelt created the federal holiday in 1934.

Catholic immigrants faced discrimination from groups like the Ku Klux Klan. Like others, Catholics developed activist community organizations to fight back. The Knights of Columbus  was formed and named as such because it saw Columbus as a symbol of Catholic immigration.

That was all fine and well in the early 20th century where Catholics faced bigotry from the greater culture  but that discrimination no longer exists (at least, we hope).

It's time to turn around and give the proper respect to the Native Americans that were here when old Columbus came on over.

   To:  President of The United States, The U.S. Congress, The U.S. Senate

   We, the undersigned, petition the President of the United States, The U.S. Congress, and The U.S. Senate to hereby change "Columbus Day" to "Native American Day".

   Christopher Columbus did not discover America, he discovered Native Americans living peacefully in their homeland. And, as history has taught us, Mr. Columbus was not even the first to visit America from Europe.

   So, then why do we continue to disgrace Native Americans by throwing this "National Holiday" up in their faces? It's about time we realize that as Americans we are continuing the hate cycle by allowing this to continue. We should be thanking Native Americans for taking us in and sharing with us their ancient wisdom.

   We have never had a Native American holiday in the U.S. and that is truly a shame. We deem anything we want as a "Federal Holiday" if only for the benefit of government employees having yet another 3-day weekend.

   Let us give credit where credit is due. We urge you to change "Columbus Day" to "Native American Day".


   The Undersigned

Originally posted to aaraujo on Mon Oct 12, 2009 at 07:06 AM PDT.

Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags


More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

    •  This is excellent, aaraujo. (14+ / 0-)

      Many people here have not accepted the history and the role Europe had in colonizing and detroying (literally in many cases) indigenous peoples.

      We ignore our own imperial foundings.  

      "Free your mind & your ass will follow" Parliament Funkadelics

      by TomP on Mon Oct 12, 2009 at 07:08:24 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  and many don't even know why (8+ / 0-)

        we have this day off in the first place

        Certainly from our standpoint, this gives us a sense of momentum -- when the United States has accolades tossed its way, rather than shoes.

        by aaraujo on Mon Oct 12, 2009 at 07:12:06 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Exactly, so I talked to my kids about it (5+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          capelza, aaraujo, 1BQ, addisnana, FarWestGirl

          before they left for school this morning. We've talked about this with them before, but I wanted to preemptively counter the "Columbus as Heroic Explorer" meme they will likely be beaten over the head with today.

          Too many kids get only the sanitized "fairy tale" version of history. Not my kids. The "educators" will not lead my kids down the bunny trail without a helluva fight from me!

          And I do realize that teachers don't set the curriculum and many of them are misinformed about our history, and it's not totally their fault. I need only think back to the crap I was "taught" to realize that we have failed (and continue to fail) miserably in educating the people we trust to teach our children.

          FWIW, I'm not teacher-bashing. They have a difficult job, which most of them do very well. It's the system that's rotten, not the individual teacher.


          •  Don't know about your kids' school... (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            ...but here in New York, schools spend a greater deal of time covering Native American history and most certainly do NOT present an uncritical view of Columbus and the European conquest of the Americas in general.  Comparing notes with friends around the country, I get the sense that this is true in a great many other places as well.  In that regard, times have changed for the better.

            •  Well, we live in Oklahoma (0+ / 0-)

              so our kids don't get a lot in the way of info or critical thinking. Hell, we still celebrate the Great Land Theft of 1889 like it's something to be proud of. I watch with interest every year to see whether the Native American point of view will be included in their lessons about the land run. So far, no.

              But I am happy to hear that it's not that way in other places.

    •  make it indiginous people day. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      That passed by; this can, too. - Deor

      by stevie avebury on Mon Oct 12, 2009 at 07:15:15 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  There are indiginous peoples (8+ / 0-)

        all over the world from the Sami to the Maori

        This one should be particular to the Native Americans

        Certainly from our standpoint, this gives us a sense of momentum -- when the United States has accolades tossed its way, rather than shoes.

        by aaraujo on Mon Oct 12, 2009 at 07:19:04 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  well, maybe, but in America, Native American (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          capelza, 1BQ, FarWestGirl

          is understood pretty specifically to refer to the native peopls of the land that is now called the United States of Amewrica, but in actuality did not exist in the 15th century.  That is not intended to dimish the impact this discovery had on the native people of America but it is not as inclusionary as it should be.

          To be strictly accurate it is essential to encompass the entire pantheon of peoples affected by Columbus's crashing into the New World as they called it.

          The Taino/Arawaks, the Caribs, the Mayan, the Incas, the list goes on. Almost totally exterminated from the Caribbean islands to the vast mountain ranges of and coastal plains of what we now call South America.  The decimation of natives in North America basically came as the Spanish, French and British advanced like the biblical plague though their lands.

          Of course it is also now known that many of these people came across the Bering Sea from Asia.

          I am sure not all these general details are totally accurate and will nto please the purists but I hope you understand my meaning.  I am not trying to be contrary, but to broaden the understanding of the importance of the day we celebrate within the narrower confines of an Italian American holiday.

          The Uruguayan name of Day of the Americas is to me a great way to express a wholistic understanding of what the discovery meant for the future.

          Just my 2 cents.  

          •  Native Americans are all the (5+ / 0-)

            indigenous peoples here in the new world.  the fact that US citizens tend to think of themselves as "Americans" to the exclusion of all others misses the point.  there are Tainos represented at the Native American community house in NY.  Members of AIM spent time meeting with groups in places like Nicaragua.

            The artificial line drawn at out border that somehow makes those above it ""Native American" and those below it Mexican, is the height of absurdity.

            "If you're in a coalition and you're comfortable, you know it's not a broad enough coalition" Bernice Johnson Reagon

            by Denise Oliver Velez on Mon Oct 12, 2009 at 09:48:10 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Yeah I find it confusing (5+ / 0-)

              I'm Mayan and I am in Mexico, so I'm not Native American and in Mexico the word Indian(indio) is kind of a slur so here we use the word indigenous.

              •  Exactly. (4+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                capelza, soccergrandmom, 1BQ, FarWestGirl

                When I lived for a period of time in Mexico I was appalled by the racial slurs directed at indigenous people, and I stormed out of a house i was staying in when the head of household and his wife referred to household workers as "tonto". Followed up by a rant on how "stupid indios were a trial"...bla bla.

                I cursed them out, and said - you just spit on some of my ancestors and i spit on you.

                Found a mestizo family who were proud of their native heritage to stay with.  

                "If you're in a coalition and you're comfortable, you know it's not a broad enough coalition" Bernice Johnson Reagon

                by Denise Oliver Velez on Mon Oct 12, 2009 at 10:17:51 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

            •  actually that's not what I said. (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              capelza, FarWestGirl

              I said that in the USA the term Native Americans is used and accepted in general to refer to the native peoples of North America.

              I did not say it was correct either in my own understanding or the way it is generally used in America.

              That is why people like you need to re-educate the masses in the correct story and history as there is a tremendous amount of distortion in history as it has been and probably still is being taught.

      •  Spell it right though! Indigenous n/t (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        aaraujo, stevie avebury
    •  Good suggestion, however a more accurate (5+ / 0-)

      name for the holiday would be - Native Americans get to be f***d over by whites from then to the present."

      True, but a long title.  An irony is that Italian Catholics who were fighting discrimination only had this holiday to use to give them something to celebrate their heritage in the US.  Thus a group discriminated by the white power structure ends up creating a holiday that symbolizes the beginning of discrimination Native Americans that still exists today.

      As I dimly recall from history books, it was the inhabitants of the first island that Columbus discovered who were the first to succumb to European diseases and exploitation.

      The land was ours before we were the land's...Robert Frost, The Gift Outright

      by HylasBrook on Mon Oct 12, 2009 at 07:26:39 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  if they were first to be discovered... (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        capelza, aaraujo, alstradamus

        then of course they were the first to catch the diseases.

        •  They were given blankets infected with it (0+ / 0-)

          its not like it was unintentional

          "Don't bet against us" -President Barack Obama

          by moonpal on Mon Oct 12, 2009 at 08:38:35 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  not in the beginning (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            capelza, Deoliver47, FarWestGirl

            Certainly from our standpoint, this gives us a sense of momentum -- when the United States has accolades tossed its way, rather than shoes.

            by aaraujo on Mon Oct 12, 2009 at 08:43:55 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  they did not ... (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            at least not back then...People did not know anything about germs at the time... Disease, in the form of plagues and epidemics... were thought to be inflicted by divine will... evil humors, miasmas etc... When large numbers of indigenous people began dying off in the new world, more often before ever seeing a white man it was explained as "God's will" by the Europeans... it would be 350 years before germs were understood... but 100 years before that they obviously had some inking: in the 1750's the first documented attempt at germ warfare involved infected blankets.

            They hadn't a clue that it was all due to germs that they harbored and had immunity to and the people in the America's did not. The impact was disastrous.

            Depopulation by Disease

            some historians estimate that up to 80% of some Native populations died due to European diseases after first contact.

            Example: the Massachusetts bay Native Americans which was just one of many epidemics before and after gives an idea of how calamitous they often were....

            In 1618–1619, smallpox wiped out 90% of the Massachusetts Bay Native Americans.[39] Historians believe Mohawk Native Americans were infected after contact with children of Dutch traders in Albany in 1634. The disease swept through Mohawk villages, reaching Native Americans at Lake Ontario in 1636, and the lands of the Iroquois by 1679, as it was carried by Mohawks and other Native Americans who traveled the trading routes.[40] The high rate of fatalities caused breakdowns in Native American societies and disrupted generational exchanges of culture.

            Sure, much, much later after most of the deaths from disease had already wiped out huge number of people, later colonials (the British did try at least once) and later after independence on the Western frontier there were incidents alleged where Americans who handed out blankets that were infected with smallpox etc.

            Ward Churchill has alleged that the US Army gave smallpox infected blankets to the Mandan Indians in 1837, as part of a genocidal conspiracy. No historian specializing in that event has agreed with Churchill's accusations against the Army. A University of Colorado investigation into Churchill's research found that in this instance he had misrepresented his sources and "created myths under the banner of academic scholarship.

            The Mandan smallpox epidemic of 1837 was almost certainly due to negligence: a riverboat captain did not quarantine his boat even though he knew he had some smallpox cases on board and docked at a Mandan village anyway. Thousands died as a result of the disease spreading from that point of contact.

            I cannot find links to any other alleged intentional infection by blankets or otherwise though I seem to recall that later in the western frontier some tribes were given... Or I could be mixing that up with fictional accounts inspired by the 2 infected blankets and a handkerchief back in the 1750 incident...

            The early pandemics and followup mistreatment and dispossession of land did most of the drastic reduction of the population... direct killing and murder played a part to but amounted to a much smaller part of the death toll. And the infected blanket incident(s), as evil as that was or were, (if something similar was done at other times) it amounted to at most just a small part of a huge mostly accidental tragedy that has lasted a half a millennium. The Native Americans were much more easily displaced, attacked, enslaved and fenced in because their societies had been so catastrophically weakened first by disease. They never had time to recover numerically before the survivors were systematically brushed aside by all the newcomers. Not without a fightback at many times in many places in different ways, but then it was too little too late and all too often that only brought more abuse, butchery and suppression.

            If there had been normal immunity to the diseases from day one... the history of the world would be very different and the Europeans would have been forced to treat the first peoples of the Americas with respect as equals... they would have had to... they would have had the numbers to make it so.

            Pogo & Murphy's Law, every time. Also "Trust but verify" - St. Ronnie (hah...)

            by IreGyre on Mon Oct 12, 2009 at 11:22:39 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Jeffery Amherst in 1763 (0+ / 0-)

              there were other instances of this biological warfare, but Amherst is the best known.

              The land was ours before we were the land's...Robert Frost, The Gift Outright

              by HylasBrook on Mon Oct 12, 2009 at 05:12:00 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  yes that is the one I linked to above... (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                aaraujo, HylasBrook

                It involved 2 blankets and a handkerchief. Most of the deaths in the fort and in the entire region from smallpox were happening anyway... the attempt was criminal and intended but there is no way to know if it made any actual difference at all. And most analysis seems to indicate it did not. That is one case where the intent was very much there, but like most other attempts at germ warfare it was probably totally ineffectual.

                And the same is true for many other allegations with much less basis at least as far as intent and effect. And that has not been without a lot of trying. Disease killed multitudes. Pinning it all or even a few of the deaths on overt planned intended, with malice aforethought in the face of very few documented incidents or other evidence smacks of unnecessary demonization. If there is real evidence out there let it be found and if good cases for this sort of thing are made then let the chips fall where they may. The truth as far as can be determined is that regardless of White European attitudes and flagrant and extended mistreatment of Native peoples to the point of being a form of Genocide... it did not extend to biowarfare. The overwhelming cause of deaths by disease is just that germs spread without much help of any kind other than ignorance and the state of medical science in a time or place and that is what killed so very many people.

                You could say that Europeans did know about germ warfare... inasmuch as they knew from history that if you lobbed dead plague victims into a besieged city you could spread the disease to the people there. But that scenario did not happen or need to happen anywhere in the Americas. The few cities that were taken partly due to disease were in the Aztec and Inca empires and that was pure happenstance. And your own army would have to be dying off in great numbers too.

                We all "know" about Indians being given disease tainted blankets by evil Indian agents... etc. but looking into it reveals that the actual alleged incidents are far and few between and not very well supported. And come no where near being the cause of more than relatively few if even that, of the immense numbers of people who died over 350 years from naturally spreading pathogens to people who had low immunity to them.

                Whether blaming Jews for the plague or the South African Apartheid government or the CIA for Aids... we want to find a bad guy to blame and explain why a calamity happened. This is no different.

                Pogo & Murphy's Law, every time. Also "Trust but verify" - St. Ronnie (hah...)

                by IreGyre on Tue Oct 13, 2009 at 08:58:30 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

              •  that is the one I linked to above (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                aaraujo, HylasBrook

                it is one of very few documented incidents and most deaths by disease just happened. Very few if any were intentional as far as I can find... I was surprised.  I always had "Known" about intentional infection but now I see I was mistaken and the whole thing is really sort of a historical version of an urban legend despite what many people believe or want to be true.

                Doesn't mean that virtual genocide was committed in other ways... just not via intentional infection at least not in terms of making a difference one way or another.

                Pogo & Murphy's Law, every time. Also "Trust but verify" - St. Ronnie (hah...)

                by IreGyre on Tue Oct 13, 2009 at 09:11:05 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  I think the one about plague victims in the (0+ / 0-)

                  14th c is a better example.  Europeans in the 18th c would not have understood immunity to disease and how it is obtained.

                  The pilgrims regarded the deaths of so many Indians from disease as an example of "God's Providence" not understanding the real cause.

                  Clearly from Amherst's attempts they understood the concept of contagion.

                  Very thoughtful comment.

                  The land was ours before we were the land's...Robert Frost, The Gift Outright

                  by HylasBrook on Wed Oct 14, 2009 at 05:34:53 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

      •  it's the irony of it all (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        Certainly from our standpoint, this gives us a sense of momentum -- when the United States has accolades tossed its way, rather than shoes.

        by aaraujo on Mon Oct 12, 2009 at 07:36:19 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Exploitation sugarcoats it. Slavery ... (6+ / 0-)

        ...and mass murder speak the truth. The beginning of a long-running trend.

        Science can lead to truth; only imagination can lead you towards meaning. - C.S. Lewis

        by Meteor Blades on Mon Oct 12, 2009 at 08:37:29 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  A Native American Day is a good idea... (0+ / 0-)

      ...but a campaign to have it replace Columbus Day would be a tremendous waste of time and energy -- it just ain't gonna happen. People who celebrating Columbus Day are of course in no way endorsing genocide and the Left only looks silly suggesting otherwise.

  •  Sadly, most people are ignorant... (10+ / 0-)

       of the true legacy of Columbus, which is nothing to be proud of. And yes, Native Americans richly deserve to have a Federal Holiday. That's the VERY LEAST that this country owes our indigenous people.

  •  I'm flying to Europe next week to claim the (10+ / 0-)
    continent. I will expect my holiday shortly thereafter.
  •  I'm all for the switch... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    aaraujo, alstradamus

    but is this lousy date in October really the day to celebrate Native American culture & history? If we moved the holiday to the day after Thanksgiving, it would be an instant hit, but it would kind of be a holiday of convenience. What day should it be?

    Socialism stands for the golden rule; Capitalism stands for the rule of gold.

    by Farmer Labor on Mon Oct 12, 2009 at 07:17:51 AM PDT

  •  Where I live now (6+ / 0-)

    Columbus Day is a holiday in name only. The kids have school, no one but Federal workers has the day off. Growing up Italian-American in New York, Columbus Day was a pretty big deal as it was almost like the Italian version of St. Patrick's day. In neither case was the conquest of the Americas given any sort of prominence.

    This is a holiday that is in real need of a focus if it is to become relevant.

    The weak in courage is strong in cunning-William Blake

    by beltane on Mon Oct 12, 2009 at 07:18:23 AM PDT

  •  Long standing opposition to this holiday from me. (6+ / 0-)

    Totally agree with this proposed change.  Ever wonder why banks have the same holidays as federal government?

  •  Imagine if Columbus had kept going (4+ / 0-)

    and found the actual Indians in India. Europe could have outsourced everything and the Cherokee/Sioux Empire might now rule the earth.  

    I am really enjoying my stimulus package.

    by Kevvboy on Mon Oct 12, 2009 at 07:19:26 AM PDT

    •  Empire (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      We are discovering evidence of large Native American cities where we never believed such things existed. They did build large metropolises, but I don't think "empire" is something they did.

      Women shouldn't be afraid of their governments. Governments should be afraid of their women.

      by droogie6655321 on Mon Oct 12, 2009 at 07:33:05 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

        •  Yeah (0+ / 0-)

          I was referring mostly to North American Indian nations.

          Women shouldn't be afraid of their governments. Governments should be afraid of their women.

          by droogie6655321 on Mon Oct 12, 2009 at 07:39:40 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I don't think we have much of an idea... (5+ / 0-)

            what was going on here. The diseases spread so quickly that the population was decimated before they ever had direct contact with Europeans. That's the reason we read so much about how primitive they were -- European explorers were witnessing societies in collapse but they never realized it.

            A concept like "empire" is distinctly European. The differences in geography and available resources caused very different societies to evolve. Since there was little farming in North America, there were few cities. No cities and no farming means no reason to take and hold land. Cities and the need to take and hold land are prerequisites for empire.

            •  Your second graf... (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              Is what I was trying to say.

              Also, good point about us seeing societies in collapse. It's like that scientific idea -- the very act of observing changes that which is being studied.

              Women shouldn't be afraid of their governments. Governments should be afraid of their women.

              by droogie6655321 on Mon Oct 12, 2009 at 07:50:34 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  The idea that North American Indians ... (9+ / 0-)

              ...did not farm widely is mistaken. Don't confuse all Indians with the buffalo culture of the Plains.

              Science can lead to truth; only imagination can lead you towards meaning. - C.S. Lewis

              by Meteor Blades on Mon Oct 12, 2009 at 08:32:31 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  Sorry, wrong. (4+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Pozzo, capelza, aaraujo, FarWestGirl

              A concept like "empire" is distinctly European?


              Han Imperial China
              Persian Empire
              Egyptian Empire
              Mongol Empire
              various Indian Empires
              various African Empires

              There's nothing uniquely European about imperialism.  There's enough to go around for everyone.

            •  I am reccing for the first paragraph... (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              The second paragraph is wrong.  

              •  which part? (0+ / 0-)
              •  besidese the "distincty European"... (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:

                I do realize that I wrote "we don't know what was going on" and then described what was going on like I knew. It is complicated and I was only writing a few sentences. We do have a pretty good idea of the animals and plants available to be domesticated, and that America didn't have available what was in Eurasia/N. Africa. There wasn't any animals for work or food, except the llama, and there wasn't plants with the versatility and nutrition like wheat. Maize isn't a very nutritious food.

                •  you should really read 1491 (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  capelza, FarWestGirl

                  archaeologists have found a whole bunch of stuff out about pre-contact american societies that looks rather different than how most people imagine it.

                  as for foods, in addition to corn, don't forget tomatoes, potatoes, peppers, squash, beans, peanuts, pineapples, sweet potatoes, or sunflowers.

                  surf putah, your friendly neighborhood central valley samizdat

                  by wu ming on Mon Oct 12, 2009 at 09:23:41 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                •  I wasn't referring to "empire" (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:

                  though as others have pointed out, "Empire" is not a European feature (I am sure Sargon would be startled to hear that, and Cyrus the Great would get a chuckle out of it...not to mention the Maya, the Aztec, the Inca, Kahokia, etc...

                  It was the "very little farming" that was MB noted above, there was certainly more to Native Americans than the buffalo culture of the Plains.  Nor did all Native Americans depend on maize...

                  While I am sure that the European perspective does not see it as farming, here is a short (ish) article on the Pacific Northwest and the environmental control by the peoples in the region.   Particularily with fire...


                  •  that article isn't about farming... (0+ / 0-)

                    environmental control is different from what I'm talking about. That article actually states:

                    Northwest Indians were not agricultural

                    There are degrees of agriculture and of animal husbandry. I'm am comparing the European state of food production in 1491 with the state of food production on N. America. There were few spots in N. America that had extensive agriculture comparable with Europe. I was specifically commenting on it in relation to the concept of empire -- taking and holding some one else's land. I'm saying there wasn't the incentive to do that in N. America that there was in Europe because of food production. Europe had intense agriculture that supported a large surplus population. They could support a larger surplus population by taking and holding more agricultural land. In N. America agriculture wasn't as intensive so it didn't support as large of a surplus population. Since most of the population was engaged in food production, there was little need to take and hold more land.

                    •  But "not agricultural" is a European construct... (0+ / 0-)

                      That's how I see it.  It's about controlling the environment...which farming is an extreme version of.

                      It wasn't necessary to farm the PNW, but it was necessary to control the exploit the resources.  Farming wasn't required...farming being the turning over of earth and planting seeds.   The peoples of the PNW still controlled the "crops" they sought, it was actually quite sophisticated.  

                      •  right, I see that.... (0+ / 0-)

                        But you're getting very far way from the beginning of the thread, which was in discussing the concept of Empire and droogie's comment

                        I don't think "empire" is something they [native N. Americans] did.

                        •  The thing is..we don't know a lot about exactly (1+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          Meteor Blades

                          the Native Americans did...not much interest from the colonizers perspective and by he time they reached further west, even the great Plains tribes had already altered their lives in response to the European advance...see the horse.  

                          The Lakota were originally from the Great lakes region, they were, wait for

                          So we don't really know, really, whether there were empires or not...though I'd like to think not.  But I took exception to the non-farming comment.  

                •  maize is a very nutritious food (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  capelza, FarWestGirl

                  after the process of nixitimalization.

                •  Maize processed with lime, (CaCo4) is more (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:

                  nutritious than you realise. And corn and beans combined are a complete protein.

                  Information is abundant, wisdom is scarce. The Druid

                  by FarWestGirl on Mon Oct 12, 2009 at 11:01:13 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

            •  There was a lot of farming, but it was (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              subsistance farming, not for trade. Manufactured trade goods were separate.

              Information is abundant, wisdom is scarce. The Druid

              by FarWestGirl on Mon Oct 12, 2009 at 10:57:05 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

          •  I have no doubt (0+ / 0-)

            the North American Indians either had their own "empires" or would have picked up empire-building from their Central and South American brothers, in much they seem to have picked up casino management from the Monte Carlans and Las Vegans.

            I am really enjoying my stimulus package.

            by Kevvboy on Mon Oct 12, 2009 at 08:10:17 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  Um . . . Aztecs? (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        capelza, aaraujo, FarWestGirl

        They were definately a bloodthirsty, imperialistic nation that dominated other tribes politically.  "Empire" and "Imperialism" aren't purely European creations.

  •  Signed. thanks (9+ / 0-)

    for directing me to the petition,

    "If you're in a coalition and you're comfortable, you know it's not a broad enough coalition" Bernice Johnson Reagon

    by Denise Oliver Velez on Mon Oct 12, 2009 at 07:19:30 AM PDT

  •  Done (7+ / 0-)

    An excellent idea.

    Fox is America's Radio Rwanda.

    by Adept2u on Mon Oct 12, 2009 at 07:21:54 AM PDT

  •  in my house (8+ / 0-)

    we call it Genocide Day, a day of remembrance and honoring the dead (like the original purpose of Memorial Day and Veteran's Day).

    One Nation, (still) Under Surveillance

    by rincewind on Mon Oct 12, 2009 at 07:23:39 AM PDT

  •  Wait a minute... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    There are people who still observe Columbus day?

  •  Ahem. (6+ / 0-)

    That was all fine and well in the early 20th century where Catholics faced bigotry from the greater culture  but that discrimination no longer exists (at least, we hope).

    If you want to see anti-Catholic bigotry in fine form, be sure to visit this site during our next Supreme Court discussion.  It always crops up.

  •  Buffy St. Marie (12+ / 0-)

    deals with Columbus in her classic
    "My country 'Tis Of Thy People You're Dying"


    Now that your big eyes have finally opened
    Now that you're wondering how must they feel
    Meaning them that you've chased across America's movie screens
    Now that you're wondering how can it be real
    That the ones you've called colorful, noble and proud
    In your school propaganda
    They starve in their splendor
    You've asked for my comment I simply will render

    My country 'tis of thy people you're dying

    Now that the longhouses breed superstition
    You force us to send our toddlers away
    To your schools where they're taught to despise their traditions
    You forbid them their languages, then further say
    That American history really began
    When Columbus set sail out of Europe, then stress
    That the nation of leeches that conquered this land
    Are the biggest and bravest and boldest and best
    And yet where in your history books is the tale
    Of the genocide basic to this country's birth
    Of the preachers who lied, how the Bill of Rights failed
    How a nation of patriots returned to their earth
    And where will it tell of the Liberty Bell
    As it rang with a thud Over Kinzua mud
    And of brave Uncle Sam in Alaska this year

    My country 'tis of thy people you're dying

    Hear how the bargain was made for the West
    With her shivering children in zero degrees
    Blankets for your land, so the treaties attest
    Oh well, blankets for land is a bargain indeed
    And the blankets were those Uncle Sam had collected
    From smallpox-diseased dying soldiers that day
    And the tribes were wiped out and the history books censored
    A hundred years of your statesmen have felt it's better this way
    And yet a few of the conquered have somehow survived
    Their blood runs the redder though genes have paled
    From the Grand Canyon's caverns to craven sad hills
    The wounded, the losers, the robbed sing their tale
    From Los Angeles County to upstate New York
    The white nation fattens while others grow lean
    Oh the tricked and evicted they know what I mean

    My country 'tis of thy people you're dying

    The past it just crumbled, the future just threatens
    Our life blood shut up in your chemical tanks
    And now here you come, bill of sale in your hands
    And surprise in your eyes that we're lacking in thanks
    For the blessings of civilization you've brought us
    The lessons you've taught us, the ruin you've wrought us
    Oh see what our trust in America's brought us

    My country 'tis of thy people you're dying

    Now that the pride of the sires receives charity
    Now that we're harmless and safe behind laws
    Now that my life's to be known as your "heritage"
    Now that even the graves have been robbed
    Now that our own chosen way is a novelty
    Hands on our hearts we salute you your victory
    Choke on your blue white and scarlet hypocrisy
    Pitying the blindness that you've never seen
    That the eagles of war whose wings lent you glory
    They were never no more than carrion crows
    Pushed the wrens from their nest, stole their eggs, changed their story
    The mockingbird sings it, it's all that he knows
    "Ah what can I do?" say a powerless few
    With a lump in your throat and a tear in your eye
    Can't you see that their poverty's profiting you

    My country 'tis of thy people you're dying

    "If you're in a coalition and you're comfortable, you know it's not a broad enough coalition" Bernice Johnson Reagon

    by Denise Oliver Velez on Mon Oct 12, 2009 at 07:25:05 AM PDT

    •  Ah, Buffy. It's been a long time ... (7+ / 0-)

      ...since I listened to that song. A condensed history lesson that still isn't being taught in many, if not most, schools. See UF study finds deficiencies in Columbus picture books used in schools

      The story of Christopher Columbus and the people he encountered when he arrived in the Caribbean has yet to be truthfully conveyed in books used by elementary school students, a new University of Florida study finds.

      Long before Columbus Day arrives Oct. 12, an overwhelming majority of books used by children in libraries and classrooms have presented outdated information and outright distortions about the explorer’s expeditions, said UF researcher Donna Sabis-Burns. She did the study for her doctoral dissertation in the school of teaching and learning in UF’s College of Education.

      "Picture books are usually the first time children are exposed to the story of Columbus, so they need to be truthful," she said. "Unfortunately, these books are telling our children a history that is filled with omissions and misrepresentations."

      Referring to the native people as savages when Columbus kidnapped hundreds into slavery and his shipmates raped local women are among the most glaring examples of falsehoods, said Sabis-Burns, who is now a team leader with the U.S. Department of Education’s School Support and Technology Program in Washington, D.C.


      On his first voyage Columbus kidnapped several Tainos and shipped them back to Spain to be sold into slavery because he was afraid he would not have enough riches to compensate Spanish royalty for financing his trip," she said.

      On his next trip, Columbus seized hundreds more Tainos as slaves, many of whom died and were tossed overboard before his ships reached Spain, she said.

      The Tainos killing of 39 men left behind after Columbus’ ship crashed into a reef on the island of Hispaniola was not unprovoked as presented in some of the sample picture books, Sabis-Burns said. Before Columbus returned a year later to the La Navidad settlement to find his men gone, the Europeans forced the Taino to work the fields and raped women, she said.

      Sabis-Burns said the two most widely used books were written in 1980 and 1992, despite the publication of at least 150 picture books on Columbus since 1992.

      "Dr. Sabis-Burns has brought this country’s deep resistance to correcting the story of Columbus taught to our children to the surface with her research," said Nancy Rankie Shelton, an education professor at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County. "Year after year, schools across our nation celebrate Columbus Day with the youngest of our citizens, never once thinking about or teaching the destruction he caused the Taino people."

      Science can lead to truth; only imagination can lead you towards meaning. - C.S. Lewis

      by Meteor Blades on Mon Oct 12, 2009 at 08:26:26 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Or Smallpox Awareness Day. (7+ / 0-)

    Having credibility when making an argument is the straightest path to persuasion.

    by SpamNunn on Mon Oct 12, 2009 at 07:27:05 AM PDT

  •  keep up! recent legislation (11+ / 0-)

    Native American Heritage Day Act of 2009

    Congressman Joe Baca, California, has been a leader on this issue:

    "House Passes Baca Legislation to Establish Native American Heritage Day 2009

    Bill Encourages Americans to Observe Friday After Thanksgiving as Day of Tribute

    Washington, DC – Today, the House of Representatives unanimously passed legislation introduced by Congressman Joe Baca (D-Rialto) that encourages the designation of the Friday after Thanksgiving as Native American Heritage Day.  The Native American Heritage Day Act of 2009, H.J. Res. 40, encourages the establishment of a day to pay tribute to Native Americans for their many contributions to the United States, and passed by a unanimous 385 – 0 vote.  

    The Native American Heritage Day Act of 2009 is currently supported by 184 federally recognized Indian tribes throughout the nation.  Congressman Baca has been an active member of the Native American Caucus in the House of Representatives since first coming to Congress in 1999."

    "He's like any other president -- he's a politician and he's got to do what politicians do." Rev. Jeremiah Wright

    by PhillyGal on Mon Oct 12, 2009 at 07:36:19 AM PDT

  •  I completely forgot it was Columbus Day today (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    capelza, aaraujo, FarWestGirl, alstradamus

    until I saw this diary (I know very few people who get the day off and it doesn't seem to be observed much around here.)

    That said, most of what I learned about Columbus and the 'discovery' of the Americas in school was absolute crap that completely downplayed what happened to the people who were already here. I was always taught that folks like Columbus were heroes.

    Thanks for this diary

    •  peter tosh... (5+ / 0-)

      You Can't Blame the Youth
      You teach the youths about Christopher Colombus
      And you said he was a very great man
      You teach the youth about Marco Polo
      And you said he was a very great man
      you teach the youths about the Pirate Hawkins
      And you said he was a very great man
      you teach the youths about Pirate Morgan
      And you said he was a very great man

      Not sure what his beef with Marco Polo is, but great song.

      •  Tosh didn't like pasta. n/t (0+ / 0-)
      •  it was a general rejection of any (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        capelza, mariachi mama, FarWestGirl

        European occupation of native lands.  The early settlers of Jamaica exterminated the ntive Arawaks in pretty short shrift.

        Many Jamaica authors have written about the genocide and the University of the West Indies in Jamaica publish a ton of excellent stuff. The original Wailers (Bob, Peter and Bunny) were amongst the first, maybe the first to really accentuate their nation's history through music. Later the Dub Poets, especially Mutabaruka,carried the torch. His poem/song 'You C'aint Stay In a White Man's Country Too Long' comes to my mind most times i get really fedup with the abysmal ignorance of the masses of American to the history of this hemisphere.

        Don't get me started though. I lived in the Caribbean for almost a decade of the 80's in the VI's, Jamaica, St. Vincents and Haiti, travelling all over while working for a radio station. It was a mindboggling eyeopening life changing revelatory period of my life.  

        I was fortunate to be able to travel to Africa a lot during that period doing radio documentaries on great Africans born in the Caribbean who travelled to Africa such as Edward Wilmot Blyden, and Henry Harrison who edited the newspaper 'The Voice' in New York for the Jamaican born Marcus Garvey.

        I was privilged to be able to present papers to the WEB DuBois Centre in Accra, Ghana on Blyden and to the Uni of West Indies on Henry Harrison/Marcus Garvey.  It was a tremendous honour and privilege to be accepted as a white scholar.

    •  And it wasn't just the history of Columbus that (6+ / 0-)

      was whitewashed.  Particularly the history of US wars has been heavily redacted in our school books.

  •  You got my vote. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    aaraujo, FarWestGirl

      Back in the day, when I lived in New York, whenever I would pass the statue of Columbus in Columbus Circle, I would have fantasies of taking a sledgehammer to it.

      It's totally insane that we still have this as a holiday, however nominal it may be.

    •  Columbus was a symbol (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      capelza, LNK, gooners, FarWestGirl

      for Catholic Italian immigration so you cannot hate him for that

      Certainly from our standpoint, this gives us a sense of momentum -- when the United States has accolades tossed its way, rather than shoes.

      by aaraujo on Mon Oct 12, 2009 at 07:47:30 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  and I don't think it is right... (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        capelza, LNK, aaraujo, Inland

        for one man to carry all the blame for what followed for the next few centuries. It isn't all Columbus's fault.

        •  and Columbus himself was shafted (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          by the power brokers back in Spain that never accepted him has one of them

          Certainly from our standpoint, this gives us a sense of momentum -- when the United States has accolades tossed its way, rather than shoes.

          by aaraujo on Mon Oct 12, 2009 at 07:52:11 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  It has nothing to do with (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          capelza, FarWestGirl

           one man carrying the blame for all that followed.  He is a symbol of the presage of plague and genocide.  Time for a new symbol that seeks to rehabilitate the holiday.



        •  And by the way, if someone did indeed seek to (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          wu ming, JSC ltd, addisnana, FarWestGirl

           trash Columbus ad hominem, I wouldn't waste a whole lot of breath stopping them.  

            At no point anywhere in this thread did anyone claim that the genocide which followed was solely Columbus' fault.  Your logic is equivalent to taking issue with a progressive ranting about Rush Limbaugh; you come along saying "everything about the GOP isn't Limbaugh's fault!"....  well, of course it's not.  But it doesn't make him any less of an asshole.

            One of Christopher Columbus' quotes, among many, which indicate his agenda:

          "These people are very unskilled in arms... with 50 men they could all be subjected and made to do all that one wished."

            If his first thoughts are slavery and subjugation, well, I'm just not a fan.

          •  heroes and villains... (4+ / 0-)

            history classes tend to focus on teaching through heroes and villains. Another way to teach history is by focusing on groups and societies. The traditional history lesson focuses on Columbus's individual heroics -- he believed the world is round, he convinced Ferd. and Isa. to fund him, he sailed off and discovered the New World. The backlash to that story would be to make him the goat. If he gets credit for the good things, he gets credit for the bad.

            But the world around him was much more complicated. European society was moving toward a voyage to the west, Columbus or no Columbus. He was a product of the Renaissance...Ferd. and Isa. were a product of the Muslim wars on the Iberian Peninsula...history and societies move and individuals are caught up in it.

            Columbus was sent to subjugate. That's what was going on in Europe at the time. Even if by some whim of history he hadn't thought to subjugate it wouldn't have mattered. The way things happened was inevitable, they were the results of centuries of history all over the world, not because of good and evil.

        •  Columbus Invented Mass Slavery (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Meteor Blades, FarWestGirl

          When the Indians first came on board his ship at anchor, Columbus was heard to say, his first thought, that these people would make great slaves.

          There were so many Indians being shipped as slaves as a result of his doing this on a massive scale, that navigators seeing the dead bodies of those who died and were thrown overboard, remarked that they were a navigation aid, only partly in jest.  

          When Indians were reluctant to obey, the were subjected to intense tortures like being roasted over a fire alive.  Columbus was a criminal on a scale that the modern mind cannot really conceive of.  

          •  a product of his time (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            capelza, FarWestGirl

            Europe at the time of Columbus was just coming out of the Middle Ages.

            It was violent, disease-ridden and brutal by any standards.

            A thousand years earlier, the Roman Empire thrived under the rules of conquest and enslavement of peoples.  For Europeans of Columbus' day, that was the Golden Age to recapture.    

            Certainly from our standpoint, this gives us a sense of momentum -- when the United States has accolades tossed its way, rather than shoes.

            by aaraujo on Mon Oct 12, 2009 at 08:40:57 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  mass slavery was an inevitable step... (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            in history. Columbus might have been standing there at the beginning, but he was a product of his times. Back in Spain the Muslim wars and the Inquisition were going full swing -- society at that time would be atrocious to the modern mind.

          •  "Invented"? (6+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Pozzo, capelza, LNK, aaraujo, Inland, FarWestGirl

            That will come as a surprise to all of the Jewish readers.  For some reason they think the Pharoahs invented mass slavery.  Although, to be fair, it was likely invented in the Neolithic.  

            •  Ironic but Native Americans kept slaves, too. (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:


              1866 A sovereign nation within the U.S., the Chickasaw Nation did not recognize the end of slavery until 1866. After 1866, the freedmen in the Chickasaw Nation, Don Cheadle's family among them, hold neither U.S. nor Chickasaw citizenship until the 1890s when the Dawes Commission redistributes communally held land.

              I'm also thinking of the Kogi Indians who kept slaves.

              Media Reform Action Link

              by LNK on Mon Oct 12, 2009 at 08:50:01 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  They were emulating whites - in fact (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                etbnc, FarWestGirl

                the groups dubbed the "5 Civilized Tribes" got that moniker because of their adoption of "white ways" including chattel slavery.
                Many nations did not adopt this practice.  A few others that did used it as a ploy to legally adopt runaway blacks into the tribes.

                "If you're in a coalition and you're comfortable, you know it's not a broad enough coalition" Bernice Johnson Reagon

                by Denise Oliver Velez on Mon Oct 12, 2009 at 10:10:03 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

            •  The Scale of Slavery as a Business (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              aaraujo, soccergrandmom, FarWestGirl

              Slavery has a history one could consider.

              However, Columbus was not a passive member of happenstance.  He was a very ambitious and aggressive actor.  He and his family made a lot of money off of the slave trade, but he also created a big business which caused slavery to go to new levels.  He should be considered in the true light of what he did.

              There are historical sources.  Read Howard Zinn's People's History of the United States, for one.  He is largely re-iterating de las Casas, the slaveholder turned priest who was with Columbus and wrote a description of what he saw.  

              If you read the history in depth, you get the real picture.  Otherwise, what you get is Disneyfied and you get the meme that he was simply "a man of his time."

              •  1492 Europe (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                capelza, FarWestGirl

                The Reconquista of Iberia from the Muslim Moors was climaxing with the Fall of Granada.

                This is context of Columbus

                Certainly from our standpoint, this gives us a sense of momentum -- when the United States has accolades tossed its way, rather than shoes.

                by aaraujo on Mon Oct 12, 2009 at 09:08:24 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Denial is not good logic (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  capelza, soccergrandmom

                  The meme that Columbus was only a product of his context and nothing more, a hapless sailor who merely stumbled into the history books is cruel.

                  The fact is that he aggressively pursued subjugation of people, promoted intense cruelty and was responsible for the deaths of some millions of those people who had resided in the caribbean island nations quite happily before he arrived.

                  This dark side of Columbus is something people deny, especially those who would prefer to be pedantic about his "context."  That is a form of racism that is perpetuated by the scholarly community that continues to resist honest appraisals of the historic record.

                  •  it isn't cruel, it is a valid interpretation.... (3+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    capelza, aaraujo, Inland

                    of history. My view of history is that everyone is a product of his or her context, not just Columbus, and that there is no "only" about it. I don't believe that history is the story of great individuals, or that it is a series of "Eureka!" moments. I believe that history is incremental change on top of incremental change, and that no individual invents or discovers anything.

                    It doesn't deny the dark side of Columbus or excuse him for what he did to say that. Conversely, I could argue that placing blame fully on Columbus individually excuses the rest of the society that produced him, which don't think you want to do. An honest appraisal of historic record would consider the entire context of every event.

                    •  well, in theory yes, but that depends on how (2+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      capelza, aaraujo

                      history, meaning what went before, is interpreted,

                      History is not a static monolithic one perspective thing it is a moving, fluid, interpretive vast river of everything that has been experienced,  recorded and remembered that went before today by everyone.

                      It depends totally on who is doing the interpreting and how those interpretations are used to either advance one group of people or oppress others.

                      In America it is a fairly well acknowledged fact of teaching history that it is usually taught from the white male, dead white male, conquerers occupiers perspective.

                      What many are saying here is that we must ALL wake up to learn and understand that there are different interpretations and narratives. Especially in the USA of TODAY which by now has come to represent the mingling of many heritages and blood lines.

                      I hope in this in have not expressed myself badly and offended anyone. That is definitely NOT my intent and I am more than willing to be criticisd and corrected from people who hold different ancestral memories and interpreations to mine.

                      It is always my intention to try and help be part of the solution to aa more perfect union.

                    •  And that's where we get to praising Columbus (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:

                      as your usual man of the middle ages, in all respects ...except for one fairly astounding act that shaped the world.  As we praise Washington, who owned slaves and is usual for his time in most respects, and Jefferson, and on.

                      The notable part is where they weren't like everyone else of the age.

                      Only some conservatives are racist. The rest are merely enabling racists, allying with racists, and hoping they win the next election with racism.

                      by Inland on Mon Oct 12, 2009 at 02:50:40 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                •  if it were not him and would have been someone (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:


                  Europe in 1492 was just emerging from the Middle Ages.

                  From the Fall of Rome a thousand years earlier, Europe was in a state of constant warfare with itself and it's neighbors.  

                  It was a brutal place and millions were killed by the sword.

                  Plagues also wrecked havoc as waves of sickness with frequently swept the continent killing millions more.

                  What Columbus did was simply bridge the ocean and allowed of its ills to carry over.

                  Certainly from our standpoint, this gives us a sense of momentum -- when the United States has accolades tossed its way, rather than shoes.

                  by aaraujo on Mon Oct 12, 2009 at 01:51:33 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

      •  I didn't say I hate him. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

          But I agree with you that he's a symbol, and as such, it's a symbol that should be changed.


  •  If the Indians sailed to France or (0+ / 0-)

    Western Europe your idea sounds great.  

  •  Rush replies (0+ / 0-)

    Forget that.  On Thanksgiving we can thank them for sharing their land with us.

    So old I remember when NASA was just two drunk guys and a case of dynamite.

    by dov12348 on Mon Oct 12, 2009 at 08:16:15 AM PDT

  •  My modest critique and proposal (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    aaraujo, soccergrandmom, FarWestGirl

    You are dreaming if you imagine Columbus Day will be changed to something else. Esp. since it is an Italian Pride Day in reaction to America's virulent stream of anti-Catholic and anti-Italian intolerance.

    What would the mission of a changed Columbus Day be? [BIG topic, requiring lots of thought and soul-searching]

    Columbus Day has an element of National Unity to it:

    During the 400-year anniversary in 1892, teachers, preachers, poets and politicians used Columbus Day rituals to teach ideals of patriotism. These patriotic rituals were framed around themes such as support for war, citizenship boundaries, the importance of loyalty to the nation, and celebrating social progress.

    However, Columbus Day is a fine 'teaching moment' to remember and to celebrate Native Americans. But I hope it can be done without wallowing too much in victimhood because the original Native Americans have positive, not just negative, attributes and had survival skills we all need to learn, esp. ecology, spirituality, family and community life skills and traditions.

    I propose a National Day of Mourning and Remembrance for those decimated for our greed and convenience. Native Americans and abroad.....all victims of our Imperialism....only it would have to be solemn and sincere.

    I also propose incorporating Native American ways into mainstream America. I'm not sure how, but there is great wisdom in ancient traditions tied to 'place'...........I'd love to see American children grow up with an admiration for Native Americans and a genuine interest in their culture and their well-being (that's how we were raised).

    Native American communities are numerous and spread all over the United States territory. Due to this fact it should be mentioned that Native American people have many festivals and holidays. Some of them are Hopi and Zuni Soyala New Year Festival, World Peace Day, Feast of the Black Christ, Tewa Turtle Dance, El Salvador’s Day, Navajo Sing Festival, World Religions Day, Ethnic Equality Month, Iroquois Mid-Winter Ceremony, Gender Equality Month, Iroquois Maple Ceremony, National Day of Prayer, and Birthday of Cesar Chavez.

    Rich pickings to choose from.

    I am sitting here alive and well, well-educated, and Middle Class thanks to Columbus........otherwise my family would have remained oppressed if not  killed off in the old country.

    Columbus is a mixed bag. What I mean is, the result of Columbus is a mixed bag.

    Media Reform Action Link

    by LNK on Mon Oct 12, 2009 at 08:43:18 AM PDT

    •  Mixed Bag...... (0+ / 0-)

      I guess you could call it that...

      It has been great for the colonisers...for the people who were isn't a mixed bag it is a catastrophe for the indigenous peoples.   Your family may have been oppressed or killed, untold millions of peoples died in the Western hemisphere.   Extinction of some, near extinction of others...

      It was a catastrophe for an entire hemisphere...this isn't a mixed bag.

      •  A Native American told me he feels (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        it was even better than a mixed result....that he and his people have better lives than they would have had.........Then again, that was in Seattle.

        Agreed about the catastrophe.

        Media Reform Action Link

        by LNK on Mon Oct 12, 2009 at 11:16:44 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Day After Thanksgiving Already Feted (5+ / 0-)

    I lived in a reservation for several years, at a tribal college.  The day after Thanksgiving, was generally observed, informally as a day to feast and gather family, since it was a day off anyway.  It wasn't a celebration.  There is all too much awareness of what happened to the Indian people of Massachusetts.  

    Columbus Day and Thanksgiving Day are both reminders of the prejudice that Indian people see every day outside local family communities.  

    I used to hear people who had come back after going shopping or to visit a relative in the hospital or some other errand to a large city, say that the people in those places were glad enough to see their money.  It was a way of joking away the pain of being treated to the stares, the looks, the cutting comments every now and then.  

    If you are white and don't live in an Indian community you don't see it and can't imagine.  Having seen it through their eyes, I can definitely attest that it is real.

    I think that the Baca bill deserves support.  If it becomes law, it could be a way to begin to give people who need it a little hope.  It may not end the prejudice.

    That would take more effort on the part of everyone to have more empathy and to be more conscious.

  •  UN declared August 9 for Indigenous People (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    aaraujo, FarWestGirl

    International Day of the  
    World's Indigenous People

    Hmmmm....BIG PICTURE....way to go!

    Latest News

    UN releases latest list of ‘10 Stories the World Should Hear More About’

    8 September  2009 - From the struggles of Colombia’s indigenous people to the countless civilians displaced by violence in the Central African Republic (CAR) to United Nations efforts to crack down on the trafficking of arms, drugs and humans through ports, the UN Department of Public Information (DPI) has unveiled its latest list of stories it believes deserve greater global attention.

    Media Reform Action Link

    by LNK on Mon Oct 12, 2009 at 08:55:55 AM PDT

  •  I like the Uruaguayan version Day of the Americas (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    the fan man, FarWestGirl

    that links us all together from the tip of Tierra Del Fuego to the northern reaches of the Yukon.

    The migratory patterns and history of the Americas is changing slowly in our consciousness as we learn more about our interconnectedness.

    Let's celebrate that interconnectedness before we all perish together by ignoring the inevitable repercussions of man's impact on our planet.

    Sorry to be gloomy but I am reading James Lovelock's 'The Vanishing Face of Gaia' and it is enough to drive anyone to despair at man's refusal to look reality in the face and live in denial.

    it's too late to wait. Act now.

    •  I refuse to read that book, got enough trouble (0+ / 0-)

      getting out of bed in the morning.

      Like the "Day of the Americas", sounds better than "There Goes the Neighborhood Day", my contribution to the reassignment.

      Thank God men cannot as yet fly and lay waste the sky as well as the earth. -- Henry David Thoreau

      by the fan man on Mon Oct 12, 2009 at 10:21:23 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  actually, not to be pedantic but there is a huge (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        the fan man

        difference between a book written by an eminent scientist who first popularised the theory of Gaia and the hysteria of an OT Hollywood block buster. But if you are prone to depression your decision is probably a good one, especailly since his conclusion seems to be that there is nothing we can do about it anyway.

        So staying in bed for the next twenty years might work. Doesn't work for me though, still got lots of work to do.

        •  No, I disagree with his conclusion. He might (0+ / 0-)

          even be correct, but that isn't a great message to put out. Most scientists working on this are in agreement with Dan Miller "we're going to hit a brick wall at twenty mph without seat belts or air bags". If we start now, by the time we get changing in earnest, we can avoid a 60mph collision. (We've probably locked in a 40mph collision.) Whatever the analogy or metaphor, there is plenty to do and no time to waste. My getting out of bed aside, there's enough bad news out there and written about here.

          Have a great "Day of the Americas Day". (Did you think I was referring to "The Day After Tomorrow"? I didn't understand your reference to OT Hollywood blockbuster.)

          Thank God men cannot as yet fly and lay waste the sky as well as the earth. -- Henry David Thoreau

          by the fan man on Mon Oct 12, 2009 at 10:42:20 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  oh yes, sorry, I did. (0+ / 0-)

            I didn't read it carfully enough.  My apoloogies. And actually, although I have not yet finsihed the book, even from the first few pages it seems as though this is the last gasp attempt of an old man and an eminent scientist, he was ninety when he wrote it, to validate his own theory that the earth will in fact get rid of human beings long before humans have a chance to destroy it.

            I believe his conclusion will probably be that it is the human race that is doomed and I can't say i disagree with that.

            But I have not spent all my life studying a specific theory of Gaia either. And it certainly does not preclude taking action and being one of those pollyanna type eternal optimists, even at aged 76, I have faith that the human race will wake up and we will take action that will slow down our demise if not totally avert it.

            Thanks for your rsponses. I don't come here to be right or to be pessimistic but to be provoked into action and futher exploration.  

            What is 'The Day of The America's' please. or the other references, are they books and if so by whom? I am always eager to try and see everythign from different perspectives.

  •  Native American Heritage Day (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    capelza, aaraujo, soccergrandmom

    The Native American Heritage Day Act of 2009 was signed into law Jun 26, 2009 and became Public Law No: 111-33.

    Indian people on the rez had already been considering it a way to get away from the usual Thanksgiving propaganda and with their families for a long time.

    Now, the rest of America can join them.  

    Instead of phony observations like buying figurines that make the idea of the Massachusetts Indians look cute bearing baskets of fruit to the Pilgrims, read up on what really happened.

    Read in depth on who and what Columbus really was.  The greater problem is the Disneyfying of history into lies.  What this does is perpetuate ongoing injustices and prejudice.

    Native Americans have family roots going back on this continent into the thousands of years, tens of thousands of years.  Their history, their culture, their religious ways, and their very being have been disrespected in terrible ways.  The least that could be done would be to take the time and trouble to learn more and to promote respect for what people are trying to do to survive and go forward into the future.  

    •  Thank you so much for that information. I confess (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      despite living in a northern New Mexico town with a extremely active socially and culturally Pueblo and Hispanic culture living with the Anglo community predominated by artists and writers, it was not publicised in the local media or the local newspaper. Although I also confess it may have been and I just missed it.

      Neither did I becme aware of it througgh my daily reading of MSM, the blogs, or this one anyway. But again I may have missed it.  Anyway, no matter, now we have been informed of it and hope that the parts of America not in areas with reservations, pueblos and active Native communities educating the people, and holding ceremonies that keep the cultures intact and in the forefront of the public's mind.

      We are fortunate indeed in New Mexico to be privy to and have access to a plethora of these ceremonies and celebrations,  especially as many of them are very intertwined with Spanish and Mexican and Catholic history of the conquistadores and Christianity. So few of us have the excuse of saying we didn't know.

      There is a constant and active vigourous dialogue and debate that goes on all the time here.  The Christmas celebrations are an extraordinary mixture of the Catholic and Pueblo traditions as many who come here to observe and join in the celebrations know.

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site