(Or, as well call it in Puerto Rico, el día de la raza.)
Just dropping by to remind everyone that Christopher Columbus was basically a dick and also totally clueless, as Matt Inman from The Oatmeal has so brilliantly chronicled. However, while I do think my homeboy Fray Bartolomé de las Casas needs some more recognition for being one of the first proponents of universal human rights (after he got over his whole “bring the African slaves so you leave the indigenous people alone” thing), I don’t think that lionizing another white dude is the answer.
So here’s my suggestion: let’s do like Berkeley and Seattle and Minneapolis (and maybe other places I haven’t heard of) and spend today celebrating indigenous people and their cultures. Let’s spend today talking about the Americas as the mass of countries that they are. (I recommend Aurora Levins Morales’ poem “Child of the Americas” as a primer–my students love it!)
Happy Indigenous Peoples’ Day, y’all.