Levi Rickert, editor-in-chief in Native Condition. Discussion »
No to Celebration
"It's revisionist (expletive). We get real tired of it," is a direct quote from yesterday's "Denver Post" by one of Denver's Columbus Day parade committee members, who reacted to the American Indian Movement protests of honoring Christopher Columbus. The "tired of it" statement is condescending, yet laughable.
I don't believe in using expletives. My mother taught me and my six siblings that if we are intelligent, we didn't need those words to be part of our vocabulary. I still believe my 80-year old mother. So, I don't really care what expletive he used. I am more concerned with him thinking that American Indians who oppose honoring or celebrating Christopher Columbus are revisionists or even use revisionist thinking.
Revisionist ? This guy obviously has not been hanging out with his American Indian neighbors Denver; or else he would know American Indians have never liked Columbus Day. But then again, I am not arrogant enough or stupid enough to think or speak for every American Indian, but I do have my own thoughts on the designation as a national holiday.
By and large, I function fairly well in modern society and am not anti-government. I am a kind of "live and let live" man. If I don't like what some group is about, such as the Tea Party folks, I simply stay away. But, when it comes to Columbus Day, I oppose it. I hate the furniture television ads that commercialize Columbus to sell more sofas and I don't like our federal government still devotes a day to celebrate Columbus.
Each year I experience a gnawing feeling of discomfort when others honor Columbus. And, this is not revisionist anything happening. It is a true feeling that has hit me every year in every decade the Creator has let me live.
As far as the social construction that Columbus "discovered" America, I reject it completely. I put him in the category of Marco Polo who sailed to Asia. Everyone knows Marco Polo did not discover China and I don't think Chinese students have to endure a false construction that he did, as American Indian students do about in classrooms about Columbus supposedly "discovering" America.
Non-Indians can continue to disregard American Indians opposition to Columbus Day, and deem it revisionist thinking. American Indians know differently, our opposition is not revisionist anything! And furthermore, ask American Indians who is tired of what.
posted October 10, 2011 11:57 am edt
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