Earlier in the month I had been trying to schedule a meeting between someone at the University of Michigan and at a school in NYC. When looking at both schedules it was agreed upon that October 11th would be a good day for the two of them to meet-up and discuss x y and z. Later, I received an email stating that we would have to reschedule due to October 11th being Columbus Day and the University in New York would be closed.
Are you kidding me?
Firstly, let me just state that I am appalled at any celebration of Columbus Day. I inevitably curse the USPS every second Monday in October when I come home to my empty mailbox–because who in their right mind celebrates Columbus Day? Its a ridiculous holiday glorifying and celebrating a misrepresented time in history. Then to hear that a state college in a city as diverse, culturally rich and progressive as New York celebrates this misguided holiday was, to say the least, surprising and very disappointing.
Don’t misunderstand me–I am all for random odd days off of work and I would never begrudge someone for being excited about it. But let’s get real, people–instead of celebrating Columbus Day why can’t we celebrate and remember the Native Americans who’s lives were destroyed upon conquests of less than benevolent explorers from Europe. I realize that this whole concept of right and wrong and villainy and heroism cannot be taken in a vacuum and that if not for these European explorers I would not be sitting here right now railing against their celebration–but doesn’t it seem like salt on the wound to the people who’ve really been handed a horrible lot in life based on decisions of our European ancestors. Placed on reservations of land that no white man wanted and was not profitable for use. Epidemic levels of diabetes; alcoholism running rampant; poverty a way of life….let’s not forget what the meaning of Columbus Day is to the true first inhabitants of North America when those select universities and government agencies take tomorrow off.
….and don’t even get me started on sports teams with names like “Red Skins” and “Indians”. Ridiculous. I don’t understand why its tolerated…and even if it were tolerated; why is it allowed?!
I wonder what kind of google ads are going to pop up as a result of this blog entry….