…And of course, “Osama bin Laden” day makes absolutely no sense…
Yes, that’s a deliberately provocative and not entirely defensible headline. And no, I’m not trying to argue in favor of there being an “Osama bin Laden Day.” But think of it this way…
1. Didn’t “discover” anything
Other Europeans had been to the Americas before Columbus. They just didn’t take it for themselves and rape and kill wantonly. Also, HELLO—there were already people living there, so they kinda actually “discovered” the Americas.
2. Didn’t prove the world wasn’t flat
It was already well-known by Columbus’ time that the world wasn’t flat.
3. Killed a lot of people
Columbus and his men wiped out almost the entire native population of Hispaniola. Murder for murder, Columbus makes bin Laden look like a chump.
4. Was a terrorist
Columbus was a terrorist, if by “terrorism” we mean what Collier’s Dictionary says the word means, i.e.:
“systematic use of violence and intimidation to achieve some goal”
So, yeah, Columbus systematically did the following:
“Columbus forced all of them over the age of 14 to work in the gold mines searching for gold for the Spaniards. Those who refused were killed. Those who did not make their quota of gold had their hands cut off and were left to bleed to death.”
And for comparison…
Osama bin Laden
1. Didn’t discover anything.
2. Didn’t prove the world isn’t flat.
3. Killed a lot of people (according to the official conspiracy theory, anyway).
4. Was a terrorist (but was never indicted for 9/11).
So for those not in favor of abolishing Columbus Day, maybe they’d be in favor of starting an Osama bin Laden Day? Makes about as much sense—when you really look at the facts—as Columbus Day.
And by the way, Columbus Day has only been a federal holiday since 1937, so it’s not like it’s some inviolable law of nature that we have to celebrate this mass murderer every year. Hasn’t even been a national holiday for a century yet.
One last thing—as I said at the beginning, I am not at all suggesting by this article that I think the U.S. should celebrate or create an “Osama bin Laden Day.” I just also think we shouldn’t celebrate a “Columbus Day.” Both are absurd. Why would we celebrate terrorism? Having said that, we obviously have to acknowledge that October 12, 1492 (the day that the island of Guanahani was spotted, not the day Columbus and company actually went ashore) was a momentous day. But perhaps it is better remembered through from the perspective of those who were already here and were murdered than remembering it from the perspective of the murderer.