Columbus Day vs. Indigenous People’s Day; exploring the controversy

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

HOUSTON-- In 1492, Columbus sailed the ocean blue, and so on and so forth, to discover America.  Apparently, the story we've heard for years leaves out a few details. Such as, indigenous people had been living in the New World for centuries before Columbus arrived and the vikings beat him to it, too.

"The people that came with him raped people and brought diseases and all of this under the name of discovery," said Shahrzad Rasekh.
Charlyndria Horton adds, "He wasn't a good dude at all."

While historians agree, Columbus paved the way for European exploration, others believe he also paved the way for exploitation by enslaving Native Americans.

"It's hard to say if it was enslavement. We really weren't there," said Susan Ramsey.

These omissions led vandals to douse the Columbus statue in Houston's Bell Park with red paint this past August.  It's happening across the country, too.  Over the weekend, Columbus statues in two different Connecticut cities were covered in red paint.

President Trump's proclamation gave only high praise to the 15th century explorer said "He undeniably and fundamentally changed the course of human history and set the stage for the development of our great nation."

This is a stark contrast to President Obama's a year earlier. Obama said "We must also acknowledge the pain and suffering of Native Americans."

"It's history," said Amy Howell. "We can't dwell on the past. We can embrace it. We can learn from it."

For some, the solution is to change the name of the day.  For others, it's to destroy public statues.

But let's face it, neither will rewrite history!

Stay connected! Download the CW39 NewsFix app for iOS or Android devices and the CW39 Weather app for iOS or Android devices.

Notice: you are using an outdated browser. Microsoft does not recommend using IE as your default browser. Some features on this website, like video and images, might not work properly. For the best experience, please upgrade your browser.