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Christopher Columbus: Who was he?

Alexandria Tovar, Writer

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Ever since I was a little girl I would sing the infamous Columbus Day poem that starts with the words “In fourteen-hundred-ninety-two, Columbus sailed the ocean blue…” As we go through the poem, it is talking about how he discovered America and the poem ends by saying, “The first American?  No, not quite. But Columbus was brave, and he was bright.” While we all know him as the man who discovered our country and how he made great accomplishment, he wasn’t really a good guy. We all know how the story goes, about how he left Spain to find a faster route from Europe to Asia in hopes he’d find India but instead discovered the Bahamas thus leading him to find the Americas. Through that whole mini clip of the story, we heard nothing about the people who lived here already. So do we really know who Christopher Columbus was?

Now, to find out who he was, I broke down the story and searched a little deeper to find out what really happened when he came to America. When he came to America, he was looking for riches and to conquer new lands, after arriving to America he was met by the Native people to the land. He and his crew had seen the Native Americans as obstacles and treated them with violence. His crew treated them like they were his slaves and had spread new diseases that the Native Americans couldn’t fight off. Despite historians finding out all of these things about Columbus and his crew, we still celebrate him.

With a lot of this new information about Columbus and his crew coming to light, there has been quite a controversy involving whether or not he should be celebrated. Westside High School student, Isabel Zapon said, “While I understand he in a way discovered America, I don’t think he approached the people who were already living here in the proper way.” I think that in a situation where there is apparent good and bad, we should really take time to think about the way we approach it before we celebrate it. Imagine how a lot of the Native American families who are descendants of a tribe that he hurt, feel about seeing him being celebrated. We should take into consideration that there were people hurt and figure out if we need to celebrate the man who hurt them.

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Christopher Columbus: Who was he?