Yet another recognized holiday to celebrate something that matters for the wrong reasons. We do not celebrate Hitler’s Birthday or the day he rose to power over Germany. Yet, every second Monday of October, we glorify a man who claimed a land that was already occupied. He slaughtered innocent men, women and children. He forced religion and slavery on an otherwise happy people. He conquered souls and bodies, pillaged the villages and took purity from the bodies of the innocent.
The story of the Taino people is an untold one. The indigenous inhabitants of the Caribbean islands, these forgotten people are no more than a spoken myth among those who have seen the carvings in the caves of Puerto Rico, Cuba and Haiti.
Columbus will be honored today. For the redundant mistake this nation continues to succumb to. As the crowds gather on Wall Street, it is forgotten that this nation was built on the backs of the voiceless. On the pools of blood and the unheard tears of those deemed less. They did not cry for money. They did not cry for jobs. They did not weep for education. They did not weep for social security. They did not care about materials or taxes or politics. They whimpered into the sand for the only thing they truly cherished. Life. A life taken for no other reason than to claim a land. To claim soil.
If Columbus was on Wall Street, he would bombarded by crowds of beautiful, kind, gentle people. With blood pouring from their limbs and sadness in their eyes. And the uneducated would chant his name in the distance.
We celebrate this day for the triumph of the new world. But we should mourn this day for the life snuffed out. For what could have been. For what will never be.