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Students share opinions on celebration of Columbus Day

Pictured+above+is+a+statue+of+Christopher+Columbus%2C+erected+to+honor+him+and+his+voyage+to+America.+%0A
Pictured above is a statue of Christopher Columbus, erected to honor him and his voyage to America.

Pictured above is a statue of Christopher Columbus, erected to honor him and his voyage to America.

Pictured above is a statue of Christopher Columbus, erected to honor him and his voyage to America.

Charlie Moore and Caroline Lampert

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Monday, October 9 is the day the United States observes Columbus Day in celebration of Christopher Columbus’ voyage to the Americas. The celebration has occurred annually since 1937, but recently, Americans have been questioning whether Columbus and his voyage should really be celebrated. WSPN asked some students how they felt about Columbus Day.

Harrison Veal, Sophomore

What, to your knowledge, is Columbus Day?
“I believe it’s a celebration of Columbus settling in America.”

There’s discussion over the celebration of Columbus’ discovery of the New World — he’s said to have never even stepped in America and to have killed many indigenous people in the Caribbean islands…. What are your reactions to this discussion?
“Yeah, I’m pretty sure that is true, I don’t think he was planning on going [to America]. He was planning on going to Asia, but he happened to go [to the New World], so we are here now.”

Do you agree that Columbus Day should be celebrated as a holiday?
“I feel like it depends. Most people don’t really care, but some do. [I like it because] it’s a day off from school.”

Can you think of someone better to celebrate instead? (i.e. Tubman day or Douglass day)
“Abe Lincoln or George Washington.”

Tyler Teplow, Freshman

What, to your knowledge, is Columbus Day?

“It’s a celebration of Columbus sailing from Spain or Portugal to here and discovering America.”

There’s discussion over the celebration of Columbus’ discovery of the New World — he’s said to have never even stepped in America and to have killed many indigenous people in the Caribbean islands…. What are your reactions to this discussion?

“I mean, I don’t think there should be a holiday celebrating the things that he did — it’s not exactly something we would applaud today, [and] based on general knowledge, I think we should stop the holiday if it’s affecting too much.”

Can you think of someone better to celebrate instead? (i.e. Tubman day or Douglass day)
“On this day? On days like Columbus Day, I can’t exactly think of something in the general time off the top of my head that would be good to celebrate or relevant for this time period, so no.”

Lindsey Biggs, Freshman

What, to your knowledge, is Columbus Day?
“When Christopher Columbus came to America.”

There’s discussion over the celebration of Columbus’ discovery of the New World — he’s said to have never even stepped in America and to have killed many indigenous people in the Caribbean islands…. What are your reactions to this discussion?

“My reactions are that it’s not good, but I like that we have the day off.”

Do you agree that Columbus Day should be celebrated as a holiday?
“That’s a tough one. Maybe not, but also yes because it was the discovery of the New World. But [I guess] people were already here.”

Can you understand why people are hesitant to celebrate Columbus?
“Yeah, I can understand.”

Can you think of someone better to celebrate instead? (i.e. Tubman day or Douglass day)
“Harriet Tubman would be a good one.”

Jack Cappellucci, Senior

What, to your knowledge, is Columbus Day?
“It’s a day to celebrate when Christopher Columbus ‘found America,’ but he didn’t really find it and didn’t do anything important.”

There’s discussion over the celebration of Columbus’ discovery of the New World — he’s said to have never even stepped in America and to have killed many indigenous people in the Caribbean islands…. What are your reactions to this discussion?

“Yeah, honestly, he didn’t really find America, [and] I don’t think we should celebrate him because he didn’t do anything special and he was a bad person.”

Do you agree that Columbus Day should be celebrated as a holiday?
“I mean, I like the day off from school, but I think we should be celebrating someone other than Columbus.”

Can you understand why people still celebrate Columbus?
“Yeah, it’s just one of those holidays where people like the tradition and the day off from school and work, but I don’t think anyone really celebrates him.”

Eric McGonagle, Junior

What, to your knowledge, is Columbus Day?
“A celebration for Columbus when he came to the New World.”

There’s discussion over the celebration of Columbus’ discovery of the New World — he’s said to have never even stepped in America and to have killed many indigenous people in the Caribbean islands…. What are your reactions to this discussion?

“I’ve heard a lot about that, how he’s [committed] genocide on many races, how he shouldn’t be worshipped. [I’ve heard] comparisons to [Adolf] Hitler, and how we don’t celebrate his genocide of the Jews, but we celebrate Columbus for [his] genocide of indigenous people in the Caribbean.”

Do you agree that Columbus Day should be celebrated as a holiday?
“Personally, I don’t think Columbus Day should be a holiday — I think it should be removed from our calendar. I especially don’t think we should have a day off to commemorate his memory.”

Can you understand why people still celebrate Columbus?
“Kind of. If you have this deep love of America, I guess you might want to respect the man who found it.”

Josh Goodman, Senior

What, to your knowledge, is Columbus Day?
“The day we celebrate when Christopher Columbus slaughtered all the native people. And [he] said he discovered America when he didn’t.”

There’s discussion over the celebration of Columbus’ discovery of the New World — he’s said to have never even stepped in America and to have killed many indigenous people in the Caribbean islands…. What are your reactions to this discussion?

“I think it’s kind of a silly holiday because he didn’t actually discover [The Americas] — clearly people were [already] there. He thought he was in India, hence the name Indians, [but] he wasn’t. So he’s kind of just a fool if you ask me.”

Do you agree that Columbus Day should be celebrated as a holiday?
“No, it probably shouldn’t be.”

Can you understand why people still celebrate Columbus?
“Yeah, Americans can be stupid.”

Can you think of someone better to celebrate instead? (i.e. Tubman day or Douglass day)
“Abraham Lincoln, all the time, every day, just celebrate his life.”

Remmi Shaw and Charlotte Coregedo, Freshmen

What to your knowledge is Columbus Day?
“The day we celebrate Columbus discovering America.”

There’s discussion over the celebration of Columbus’ discovery of the New World — he’s said to have never even stepped in America and to have killed many indigenous people in the Caribbean islands…. What are your reactions to this discussion?

“When I originally heard about this, I was kind of annoyed because my family is mostly from the Caribbean. So I was like ‘oh, okay,’ that was a big shock. I don’t think it should be celebrated.”

Can you understand why people still celebrate Columbus?
“They want a day off from school — they don’t understand.”

Can you think of someone better to celebrate instead? (i.e. Tubman day or Douglass day)
“Harriet Tubman — anyone, anyone is better than [Columbus].”

Columbus Day warranted a day off from school this year, as it is a national holiday. Massachusetts is one of twenty-five states to still observe Columbus Day.

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Students share opinions on celebration of Columbus Day