As though to add insult to injury, Indian kids (and most of the rest of kids in the U.S.) had to go to school today, Columbus Day. Today is, however, a federal holiday.
According to Time Magazine, Columbus Day was the brainchild of New York state senator Timothy Sullivan in 1909. Americans at the time were unimpressed, describing the holiday as superfluous.
Thomas A. Bowden of The Ayn Rand Center for Individual Rights, however declares the holiday worthwhile, “Thus, the deeper meaning of Columbus Day is to celebrate the rational core of Western civilization, which flourished in the New World like a pot-bound plant liberated from its confining shell, demonstrating to the world what greatness is possible to man at his best.”
Some American Indian folks would disagree. In Berkeley, California and in South Dakota, today is celebrated as Indigenous People’s Day and Native American Day respectively.
For an alternative view on the celebration of Columbus Day, check out the public service announcement created by Nu Heightz Cinema, “Reconsider Columbus Day.”
Although Nu Heightz gets the date wrong for 2010, (Columbus Day is being celebrated on October 11 this year), it presents an interesting perspective.