Monday, October 12, 2015

Happy Not Columbus Day!

Well, since it's (what is still currently known as) Columbus Day, I was going to tell the story about Mrs. Reed, my third grade social studies teacher, defending the reputation of Christopher Columbus by summarily executing Santa Claus, but it looks like I've already shared that tale here three times, each time thinking I was covering new territory. A mere nine-plus years into this and I'm repeating myself repeating myself. What a jackass.

Today is Columbus Day, at least in most places. But there's a growing movement to change the name to "Indigenous Peoples' Day", a step already taken in Albuquerque, New Mexico, St. Paul, Minnesota and Portland, Oregon among others. Without even Googling this story and drilling down to the comments, I know there are certain heads out there just about to spin right off of their shoulders. They're frothing about how political correctness is just ruining everything and how it's a slippery slope that will result in renaming streets and schools after someone who didn't spread venereal diseases and commit genocide. Plus, their nerves are probably frayed because they never even got around to using the phrase "Native Americans" and now they're expected to learn some totally new word they can't even pronounce.

I'd like to address the following to those people.

Listen, to the extent that change-for-the-sake-of-change is obnoxious and annoying and nobody likes it, you have a point. However, when it's a case of correcting errors, you don't. The people you call Indians have no connection to India. Columbus, was, at best, a total incompetent who didn't discover shit. There's nothing wrong with finding out that something you believed turned out not to be accurate and then correcting it going forward.
Ironically enough...

And one day out of the year, a holiday which doesn't even merit dressing up in some kind of stupid ethnic stereotype costume and getting wasted to celebrate it, to honor the people who happened to live on this particular above-water chunk of dirt first, simply isn't that big of a deal. Historical accuracy, a modest display of respect and up to 20% off at Macy's and other retailers. Sounds good enough to me.

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