Our schools and corporate media still present Columbus as a courageous hero who "discovered" America. Yet, it is well known that when he arrived, he was greeted by people! In fact, millions of people had inhabited this continent in hundreds of nations for thousands of years! Many cultures were more sophisticated than those of Europe.
We are generally not told of the great cruetly Columbus displayed, but the 2010 article Columbus Day? True Legacy: Cruelty and Slavery helps set the record straight:
"If Christopher Columbus were alive today, he would be put on trial for crimes against humanity. Columbus' reign of terror, as documented by noted historians, was so bloody, his legacy so unspeakably cruel, that Columbus makes a modern villain like Saddam Hussein look like a pale codfish. Question: Why do we honor a man who, if he were alive today, would almost certainly be sitting on Death Row awaiting execution?.... Let's come clean. Let's tell the truth about Christopher Columbus.
Let's boycott this outrageous holiday because it honors a mass murderer."
For more information, see Christopher Columbus. To give Italian Americans a day to honor their heritage without perpetuating the myth of Columbus, some Native Americans have suggested renaming "Columbus Day" as "Italian American Day".
In the video below, David Stanner, professor and chair of the American Studies Department at the University of Hawaii, discusses his book American Holocaust: The Conquest of the New World -- specifically his use of the words "holocaust" and "genocide" to describe the experience of Native peoples here after 1492.
Stannard asserts that the European and American destruction of Native peoples of this hemisphere was the most substantial act of genocide in history. A combination of atrocities and imported plagues resulted in the death of roughly 95% of the Native population. Stannard argues that the perpetrators of the American Holocaust operated from the same ideological values as the architects of the Nazi Holocaust. He avers that ideology remains alive today.