"For a subject worked and reworked so often in novels, motion pictures, and television, American Indians remain probably the least understood and most misunderstood Americans of us all."

-John F. Kennedy in
the introduction to The American Heritage Book of Indians

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Happy Indigenous Americans Day!

Well, it's that time of year again- Columbus Day

Time for people to celebrate the myth of Christopher Columbus.  The man who brought western civilization to America and initiated the divinely mandated conquest of a continent.  He sailed the ocean blue in 1492 and for that we say thank you?

Not everyone agrees of course.  The voices may be few and far between (in the mainstream media at least) but every second Monday in October more and more people are voicing their opinions.  More and more people are stopping to think about what this day supposedly celebrates.  More and more people are starting to reconsider:

And for those of you who think this will never happen anywhere big, here's a group of people who heeded the call back in 1990.  It's just a small little place that goes by the name of South Dakota:

Thune: Anniversary of Native Americans’ Day is cause for celebration and reflection

I encourage everyone to read a few news articles about the Columbus Day holiday with a skeptical eye.  Columbus is a sacred figure for many Americans so attacking him is tantamount to burning the flag or defacing Mount Rushmore.  But realize, history is rarely black and white.

500 years can hide a lot of dirt and Christopher Columbus is one figure whose popular image is suspiciously clean.

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