I hate Columbus Day because it reminds me of all the things I don’t like. One of which is the public school system. It is not about bad food or strict teachers, it is truly the lack of “education” that permeates the entire institution. We can not depend on the school libraries to teach us accuracy and truth. No, we often have to research other sources that are somehow banned from being on school grounds.

Our public schools, which we are legally required to send our children to, do not teach that on Oct 11, 2008, Indigenous Peoples Day was established to replace Columbus Day. Since the first American history book was written, there has been a systematic and effective cover-up locked in to place that perpetuate the fallacies and myths of Christopher Columbus and the assumed “divinity” of the fated voyage. Schools and media still refer to him as having “discovered” a continent that was already inhabited by people.

Our schools do not teach about the Chumash people who were brutalized by the Spanish Mission system, and neither this this nor the holocaust that occurred against California Indian people is reflected in our school curriculum. Nor do they teach about the 1824 Chumash uprising and month-long stand-off at La Purisima Mission. However, 3rd and 4th graders, are required to go home and make styrofoam California Missions! What does it say about our schools when they do not even make mention or promote California Indian Day (Sept 25)?

Many Americans still regard Columbus as a hero; we do not.

Christopher Columbus is an icon of the holocaust against the indigenous people of this hemisphere, where 95 million people were enslaved and/or murdered for resisting.

Our schools have a responsibility to teach the truth. We have the responsibility to demand it.–Corine Fairbanks, American Indian Movement, Santa Barbara Chapter


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