December 14, 2018

Goodbye, Columbus Day

“Columbus is everywhere. The Genoese explorer may have never set foot in North America, but he still managed to get his name and mug all over the Western Hemisphere. Most U.S. cities carry multiple references to Christopher Columbus—and not just on statues and street names, but the cities themselves. From Columbia, South Carolina to Columbus, Ohio, the Admiral of the Ocean Sea staked a hard-to-erase claim over millions of acres of the United States. Heck, the nation’s capital, the District of Columbia, is Columbus Country.

But in recent years, efforts to de-Columbus the U.S. have grown in strength and size, thanks to the famed navigator’s increasingly problematic historical reputation: Christopher Columbus, after all, kicked off a horrific genocide, treated non-white people as sub-human, and wasn’t even the first European to happen upon the Americas. Scores of cities and three states have replaced his namesake holiday with Indigenous Peoples’ Day. Statues and memorials devoted to Columbus now draw the regular attention of protesters and vandals, while his parades are getting rebranded and cancelled. Are we sailing toward a New World without Columbus?

The notion of kicking Columbus out of his own holiday started back in 1977, at the United Nations’ International Conference on Discrimination Against Indigenous Populations in the Americas. But Berkeley, California, was the first U.S. city to formally replace Columbus Day with Indigenous Peoples’ Day; its city council voted in the change in 1991 and it was first celebrated the following year in lieu of the Columbus Quincentennial, a nationwide celebration of the 500th anniversary of Columbus’ arrival in the Americas.”

Read more

JJ Best Of The Web

"Until recently, most Americans have understood that the biggest threats to their privacy came from their own government."

"As the charges, indictments, plea deal, and years of incarceration pile up over the next couple of years, I'll never stop being amazed at the incredible galaxy of thieves and lowlifes this president* attracts."

"Sometimes anti-Zionists are — surprise! — homicidal anti-Semites, too. That’s a thought that can’t be far from the mind of anyone living in northern Israel..."

"Some things never change. The sun rises in the east. Forks are set on the left. And if there is a pregnant woman in a movie, she will go into labor at the worst possible moment."

"The American dream is about the opportunity to earn happiness—and the government has a responsibility to facilitate that."

"A reflection on my month without Apple, Microsoft, Google, Facebook, and Amazon, plus a how-to guide if you want to quit the biggest companies in tech."

"Against moral sainthood: As philosopher Susan Wolf argues, life is far more meaningful and rich if we do not aim at being morally perfect."

"We all know two plus two equals four. And we begin with that. We learn to add before we learn how to take away, to lose. It’s a great way to learn how to write. "

"There is no shortage of songs, movies and television shows depicting the difficulties of breakups with a romantic partner. But when it comes to navigating the end of friendships, it can feel like we’re on our own."

"The rapidly growing trend of veganism is likely to become another major contributor to hidden hunger in the developed world."

"Thankfully, in science, we don't need to be there ourselves to have proof. Here are four different pieces of evidence we can point to that demonstrate the Moon landings actually occurred."

"It’s December again, which means it’s time to put away childish things and once again heed our era’s highest moral calling and resume our arguments about Love, Actually."