April 11, 2007

No celebration for slavers

Abolish Columbus DayRecently, legislators in Virginia and Maryland voted to apologize for the operation of slavery in their territories for more than 150 years. Law professor Stanley Fish discussed the importance of the apologies, explaining that, like a decision that is reversed by the Supreme Court because it was wrongly decided, legislatures and governors also can (and should) revisit and repeal previous decisions that were wrongly considered.

Slavery was an institution, based on racism and inhumanity, that cried out for abolition. Columbus Day, similarly, celebrates racist concepts of discovery, conquest and occupation. In fact, Columbus began the transatlantic slave trade with captured Indians from the Caribbean. Soon, Africans were forced into slave ships to replace the millions of indigenous Americans who were slaughtered in Columbus' regime of invasion known as the Encomienda. For this crime against humanity alone, Columbus should be stripped of any accolades, honors or holidays.

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