What NJ’s cancel culture got so wrong about Columbus Day (Opinion)
Remember a few months ago when the affluent, mostly white Morris County town of Randolph chose to not only drop Columbus Day but then chose to get rid of almost all holidays including Thanksgiving? It was to be replaced on the calendar as simply ‘Day Off.’ They had joined other New Jersey districts in distancing themselves from Columbus Day.
But then they rethought the whole thing. If you look at their online school calendar today it shows Columbus Day on October 11.
Remember when Camden and Newark removed statues of Christopher Columbus? An explorer who discovered the Americas was just too controversial because he dealt in slavery and human suffering.
Well the cancel culture that led to a lot of districts renaming the day Indigenous Peoples’ Day needs to take a deep look into its own soul. If you’re going to replace Columbus with indigenous people you need to know they dealt in the same slavery. And they did it long before they knew any European.
From the book “Cannibalism, Headhunting and Human Sacrifice in North America: A History Forgotten”:
“Long before the white European knew a North American continent existed, Indians of the Northern Plains were massacring entire villages. And not just killed, but mutilated. Hands and feet were cut off, each body’s head was scalped, the remains were left scattered around the village, which was burned.“
Just to name a few of the Native American tribes that engaged in slavery, the Pawnee, the Klamath, the Comanchee of Texas, the Creek of Georgia and the Yurok in California. Many Native American tribes practiced slavery long before Europeans ever knew of America.
So here we are in 2021 with social justice warriors hellbent on eradicating the memory of Christopher Columbus because of slavery and brutality while wanting to honor indigenous people who were practicing in the very same thing.
I believe we still have a Washington Monument in our nation’s capital. Owned slaves, didn’t he? You can bet cancel culture will get caught up with that long before they address the slave trade of indigenous people such as the Haida and Tlingit of Alaska. They were fierce warriors who invaded as far south as California and prisoners of their wars were taken as slaves and the slave’s children were even held as slaves.
So you want to celebrate brutality and being born into slavery? Go ahead and embrace Indigenous Peoples’ Day and shun Columbus.
The real problem? We keep judging our historic figures with today’s standards. Imagine the things we do right now being put under a microscope in 500 years. What will they say about how we handled abortion? Treated prisoners? Every social norm we have may be upended for all we know and we’ll all be complicit in crimes we can’t yet recognize.
Enjoy your Columbus Day. And if that offended you, I’m not sorry.
The post above reflects the thoughts and observations of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Jeff Deminski. Any opinions expressed are Jeff Deminski's own.