Here in Milano, because my daughters go to an American school, where American holidays are observed, there was no school today because of Columbus Day.
Columbus, an Italian sailing for Spain, who discovered America.
And by America, we mean he discovered Central America, South America, Cuba, and the Bahamas.
And by discovered, we mean he was convinced he had made it to Asia. There is no consensus amongst historians that he ever realized he had landed on a continent previously unknown (to Europeans).
And by discovered, we don’t include the Vikings and the continent’s inhabitants whose ancestors crossed the Bering Strait 15,000 years ago. Columbus wrote about the first natives he saw: “With fifty men they could all be subjected and made to do all that one wished.”
While this may have been the 1492 equivalent of Apollo 11, the whole thing still makes for an inappropriate national holiday for the United States.
And by inappropriate, I mean for the enlightenment-inspired “all men are created equal” United States of America—not the one with slavery, Native American genocide, Japanese Internment camps, and Trump.