The Native American Nations In The United States - Trapped In The USA
Columbus Day in the United States. Not much to celebrate…

Yesterday was Columbus Day in the United States, the latterly Italian-American festival commemorating the “discovery” of the Americas by the speculative expeditions of Christopher Columbus in the 1490s. Of course for many others in the US the second Monday in October is Indigenous Peoples’ Day (or Native American Day) which marks the moment when European invaders first made their present felt in the Western hemisphere (excluding the odd Medieval Scandinavian – or unlikely Irish – adventurers). Salon has a good take on the whole thing, “North America is a crime scene: The untold history of America this Columbus Day. The founding myth of the United States is a lie. It is time to re-examine our ruthless past — and present”, while Vox has a Buzz-like “9 reasons Christopher Columbus was a murderer, tyrant, and scoundrel”. On the 1st of May 1169 a force of Norman-British mercenaries landed in Ireland, leading a mixed group of English, Flemish and Welsh foot-soldiers and archers. The 800th anniversary of that event was in 1969 (how’s that for historical symmetry?). The 1st of May is also of course the ancient festival of Bealtaine in the native Irish calendar, a date which marks the commencement of the summer half of the year. All of which are as good a reason as any for designating the 1st of May each year as a national holiday in Ireland, the Lá Bealtaine. Eight hundred years of Resistance and two or three thousand years of indigenous tradition deserve some formal recognition.

6 comments on “Native American Day

  1. Oh hell yes! And interestingly, Seattle has been the epicenter of both the “Abolish Columbus Day” rallies AND what are becoming “traditional” May 1 riots!!!!

    Lá Bealtaine abú!!

    • Yes, I was just reading that in relation to the growing unpopularity of Columbus Day. But then Seattle is a world unto itself. Forget the Texan talk of succession, the whole Pacific north-west seems to be much more a “place apart” 😉

      • Well yeah seattle and the pacific north west including British Columbia in Canada are very different and could one day secede together as Cascadia……….

  2. watch out – incoming anecdote!!

    years ago my mother was a smart dinner party and made some comment to the italian ambassador who was sitting beside her to the effect that other people had discovered america before Columbus “what about the Vikings?” she asked “Leif whatisname?”
    ambassadorial answer: “They don’t count – after Columbus America stayed discovered!”

    • Ouch! Of course it could have been so different if the Spanish and French had stayed the distance in North America. The Spanish might get there yet but it still rankles the French not to have a Francophone États-Unis d’Amérique 😉

      • There’s a reason why people scale the border fence from the south side.

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