If you grew up white in America, you were probably taught to celebrate “Columbus Day.” But why? Columbus probably wasn’t even the first non native person from outside of the Americas to venture over here. There is now almost insurmountable evidence that the Vikings beat us here by a very, very long time. As did, apparently, the Knights Templar after them. But even that doesn’t accurately convey the meaning of today.
Because no matter how much earlier the Vikings landed in the Americas before Christopher Columbus, even they didn’t get here before…wait for it…AMERICA’S INDIGENOUS PEOPLES!
To celebrate Columbus Day not only grants him an ‘honor’ that really isn’t his (first non-native to land here), but it goes beyond that. Why celebrate everything that Europeans gained, when the real story is what the Indigenous Peoples lost?
I completely missed the #BLM blackout day, but when I saw that creators in the #NativeTikTok community calling for a similar event for their content today, I decided immediately that I would participate. I even made a couple of Duet graphics to help highlight content created by Native/Indigenous content creators. Feel free to use them for the same:
And so, I will be sharing no original content today. I am liking, sharing, and subscribing to Indigenous content creators all day long. Please join me! I’ve already learned a ton, and I’ve vowed to stop a specific offensive behavior of my own which I have mistakenly seen as solidarity with a native culture, but which is actually a misguided form of appropriation: I will no longer be saying “Aloha” or “Mahalo” as if that’s my own culture.
Sure, I lived in Hawaii for 5 years, and yeah, I had a Kamaʻāina card, but so what? I’m a white man from Colorado! I LOVED Hawaii, and I still dream of being there (literally, ALL the time). But I’m not an indigenous Hawaiian. It’s time that I stopped acting like one.
Thank you for your time!