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by Kevin Coupe

Sometimes, the facts just catch up with you. Especially in our modern world.

That seems to be what has happened to Christopher Columbus, who gets a lot of credit for having discovered America even though the Vikings got here first, 500 years earlier, and who had, shall we say, a questionable human rights record.

On John Oliver's "Last Week Tonight," this past weekend, there was a segment about Columbus that what school children "tend not to learn are the parts of Columbus’ life where where he kidnapped native Americans and sold them into slavery, had his men slash them to pieces and through disease and warfare killed roughly half the population of Haiti. But in fairness none of that rhymes with, “In fourteen hundred and ninety two.”

The question that "Last Week Tonight" asked was, How is Columbus Day "still a thing?"

Well, in some places, it isn't.

Slate has a story noting that "the Seattle City Council unanimously passed a resolution Monday commemorating 'Indigenous People's Day,' which will be celebrated every year on the second Monday of October, aka the federal Columbus Day holiday. The city's mayor is expected to sign the resolution on Columbus Day next week."

Now, this is seen as a purely symbolic gesture. The resolution has no legal force, and Seattle did not celebrate Columbus Day anyway.

But symbolic gestures matter, and this one certainly does, especially if you happen to be an indigenous people.

And, as I say, it is important to remember that in our modern world, sometimes the facts catch up with you.

It is an Eye-Opener.
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