The Sharks face the Blue Jackets in an entirely unexciting mid-October meeting that is mostly just to get these kind of games out of the way. But last week was Columbus Day, a now-controversial holiday that you probably didn’t get off. If you were like me, though, your kids did so you had to either take off a day off work or arrange for childcare.
There’s a movement nowadays to rename the holiday Indigenous People’s Day in lieu of the fact that Columbus’s misnamed discovery of the Americas led to active and passive genocide of the people living here by Europeans, including Christopher Columbus himself (note: not the director of Home Alone and a couple Harry Potter movies, though he’s probably capable of it).
Let’s review the scorecard on ol’ Chris. Let’s just take into consideration the things he actually did himself, starting with his "discovery" of the Americas. First, the negatives.
- Mistakenly thought an island the locals called Guanahani in the Bahamas was in Asia.
- Lied about spotting Guanahani in order to claim a bunch of money that King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella set aside for the first person to set eyes on land, screwing over one of his crew members named Roderigo de Triana.
- After noticing gold earrings on the friendly, peaceful Arawak tribe, he imprisoned a bunch of them and forced them to reveal where they got the gold.
- After awkwardly asking about the scars the Arawak had, they told him that they got them defending themselves from a tribe on another island who came to take them as slaves. Instead of being sympathetic, he wrote in his journal that they probably would make excellent slaves, and intended to take a couple back to Spain.
- Crashed his main ship, the Santa Maria, in Cuba then blew it up with cannon fire to impress the locals.
- Continued kidnapping locals in Cuba and Hispaniola, about 10-25 of them ultimately. Only 7 or 8 survived the voyage back to Spain.
- Punished a guy who stole corn by cutting his ears and nose off, then selling him into slavery.
- Congratulated his brother for cutting off a woman’s tongue and parading her through the streets naked because she suggested the Columbus brothers were low-born.
- Severely mismanaged the colonies he and his brothers eventually set up, eventually leading to their arrest in Spain. While he was eventually released and led one final voyage to the Americas, he was not allowed to be a governor of a colony.
- Died of an illness caused by chlamydia he picked up during his voyages.
Let’s take a look at his positive traits:
- Was pretty brave, attempting to sail across a heretofore unexplored ocean.
Ok. So he was brave, but a craven, murderous, psychopathic asshole who was a disaster in everything that wasn’t related to just steering his boat west.
I’m on board with this Columbus Day -> Indigenous People’s Day change. In fact, I’m going to suggest we change the name of the city to Indigenous People’s to make it easier. I mean, it’s a very small gesture and doesn’t make up for even the list of things that Christopher Columbus was personally responsible for, but it’s a start.
Ladies and gentlemen, your Indigenous People’s Blue Jackets.
San Jose Sharks @ Indigenous People’s Blue Jackets
4:00 PM Pacific
Prediction: The citizens of Indigenous People’s don’t like my idea, but tough shit. Your city’s namesake was a dickhead.