Thursday, November 26, 2015

Why it's right to want to celebrate Thanksgiving and change the name of Columbus Day

Columbus's legend ignores the fact that the Americas were discovered at least 12,000 years ago, and Columbus's history as a conqueror and slaver is nothing to celebrate. The name of that holiday should be changed—I propose Migrant Day to celebrate the fact everyone here is a migrant or the descendant of migrants.

The legendary and the historical Thanksgiving have nothing to do with Columbus. The basic detail is the same in both cases: Europeans and the first Americans ate together in peace. The history is complicated, but there's nothing shameful about that meal—the shameful treatment of the original Americans came later. The legend exaggerates what was good about that first Thanksgiving and glosses over the troublesome parts, but that's just what legends do. There are good reasons to celebrate the best we've done. It inspires us to do more that's good.

So have a great Thanksgiving! Emma and I plan to.