What does it mean that Columbia doesn’t celebrate Columbus Day?

  • Illustration by Christina Tang
  • From the editor:

    Halcyon visions of Columbus sailing the ocean blue were expunged from my mind as soon as my mother decided that I was old enough to know who Howard Zinn was and what the word “genocide” meant. (I didn’t make it to two digits.)

    It didn’t particularly matter to my school district, which continued merrily on, giving my classmates one-day reprieves in honor of Mr. Columbus. As my peers grew older, there was a general consensus that Columbus was “kind of a shithead,” but that getting a day off was “dope.” At the time, I’m not sure I appreciated how much of a change in awareness this was from even 30 or 40 years ago. 

    In 1970, Spectator didn’t even print on Columbus Day because it was a “legal holiday in the printing industry.” Forty-four years later, here we are, running a spread that is highly critical of the day.

    This spread is not simply about Columbia’s choice not to celebrate Columbus Day; it’s about the implications of this action. What does this mean for certain communities on campus? How does this affect the dialogue on campus? What does this choice say about our community? Where should we be going from here? 

    Unfortunately, the immediate answer to that last question this Monday morning is to class. 

    Which is decidely not dope.


    Dan Garisto
    Editorial Page Editor


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    Guest posted on

    Well, it's obvious. Columbia should change its name. Can't honor these European hordes, you know.

    Seneca posted on

    I suppose, and I say this without sarcasm, we should just all get back on the boats and return to whence our ancestors came.

    Even a cursory look at American history shows that the story of America is the story of one big land grab.

    Read Howard Zinn

    Marco posted on

    Just about every tribal people on the planet has been taken over by larger or more powerful groups to form Countries. It is the progression of mankind. There are approximately 7.5 billion people on the planet today, and they cannot just go out shoot a rabbit for dinner every night. It takes multinational cooperation just to feed half of the world, provide transportation, and waste management.
    When you say to go back to whence our ancestors came, are you talking about the first man to migrate out of Africa, or are you talking about the majority of humans with mixed blood and cultural heritage to go back to their tribal lands from whence they came, which is mathematically impossible?