It is fair to say that a majority of the American people has very limited knowledge about Christopher Columbus. They know him primarily as the man who supposedly discovered the continent of America and who was said to be a heroic, visionary adventurer who accomplished great voyages and endured great hardships. Strictly speaking, Columbus is not the discoverer of America and he did not even set foot on the American continent. Columbus and his crew drifted ashore on one of the Caribbean islands. Strife between the indigenous Americans and his crew, and subsequently other Europeans, who swarmed to this new land after its discovery and intensified the extermination and displacement of the indigenous American, has been described in many books. Depending on one's viewpoint, history views Columbus as a great adventurer and hero or insensitive slave merchant who hauled indigenous Americans to Spain and was the first European to be responsible for the massacre of indigenous Americans. While it is not our objective to pass judgment based on historical 'evidence,' the fact remains that Columbus has been the subject of controversy for a long period of time.

In 1971 a new national holiday called "Columbus Day" was created to commemorate October 12 as the day Columbus supposedly discovered America. Is it proper to set up a man of such controversy as Columbus as a national hero? Should not there be a minimum criteria established before honoring anyone with a national holiday? It is fully understandable to honor the birthdays of the great presidents of America, such as Washington and Lincoln. Historically the birthdays of these two men were celebrated on separate days. However, in 1986 these two holidays were combined as "President's Day" to provide a separate national holiday in memory of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., the assassinated leader of the civil rights movement. Since special days commemorating the contributions and achievements of individuals are called national holidays, shouldn't at least one of the persons so honored be of Native American descent or does our lingering prejudice against Native Americans not allow such thinking?

To provide long overdue recognition to Native Americans certain states have already taken the initiative by changing "Columbus Day" to "Native American Day". However, there are no more national holidays left to honor the achievements of individuals of other races or other races. And rather than starting or continuing a cycle of ill feeling towards each other by removal of recognition to honor others where recognition is due or by perhaps withholding recognition due to the lack of additional holidays it is proposed to take such recognition one step further by honoring all the races that make up and have contributed to America.

We are herewith proposing to change "Columbus Day" to "Multi-Cultural Day" in the hope that the U.S., a melting pot of all races, will continue to develop into a nation where all races can live in harmony. Let's make this a day where all races and cultures can stand shoulder to shoulder, having learned from injustices and cruelties against each other in the past, and strive for peace and harmony and a healthy symbiotic relationship. By creating such a national holiday in America, we can spread the seeds of such idealism.

Globalization was the thing of the 20th century and now that we are in the new 21st century, we must think of the welfare of our planet Earth rather than just individual nations. Selfishness of individual nationalism leads to environmental degradation, if not war, and cannot be tolerated if this Earth is to survive for future generations. When we raise our level of consciousness above the nationalistic level to the welfare of the planet, differences based on race, skin color, customs, cultures, and religion will become inconsequential and will not hamper the harmony and peace of all mankind.

In conclusion, we hereby ask for your support in replacing "Columbus Day" with "Multi- Cultural Day," in respect for all races and their cultures. This is a simple first step towards establishing true peace and harmony on EARTH.

                              07/01/02   Shamana (Contact)



© Copyright 2002 YOYUME.COM