Why Native Americans Cringe at Christopher Columbus' Name

By: DiversityWorking Press
Date Posted: November 29, 2015
News Source: Yahoo News

A simple word association game revealed what Native Americans feel when they hear the name of Christopher Columbus.

According to an article shared by Yahoo News, the viral video site Cut released a video featuring a game of word association. The video shows a group of Native Americans responding to the prompt given to them - "Christopher Columbus", and the respondents generally cringed at hearing the name.

The news said some gave brief but painful associations. For some, the name prompted an angry response.

Here are some of the answers quoted: "Evil, pure evil." "Invader. He got lost coming here and he's the one that named us Indians 'cause he thought he was in India." "Oh my god. Murderer, rapist."

Other Native Americans respondents thought that there should not be a holiday named after him, to which some online commenters agreed because for them, Christopher Columbus is no hero. Other commenters understood where the Native American respondents' pain were coming from: They still live on reservations, they still live in poverty, they still are one of the least likely group to go to college, and they’re still overlooked.

Schools, they said, should be able to set things right by teaching the real facts. Native Americans do believe that Columbus "was the start of a lot of pain," and are still feeling the pain. Perhaps it is indeed timely for schools to rethink about how to teach history when it comes to Christopher Columbus.

An article that appeared in The Atlantic early last month discusses the issue of "exposing students to the many truths about the controversial explorer." Renee Roma Nose, of the Tulalip Tribe, told The Seattle Times, “We are asking for mutual respect and understanding. We hope that this holiday brings that.” Likewise in Minneapolis, Native leaders sought to separate Columbus the man from the myth. “He actually led a lot of devastating movements against indigenous people,” Native American Community Development Institute President Jay Bad Heart Bull stressed to MPR News. - <a href="http://www.theatlantic.com/education/archive/2015/10/columbus-day-school-holiday/409984/">click here</a>

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Read the full article at Yahoo News

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