On Columbus day this year, Audacity College's PAUSE club, which I assume stands for something, held a small rally with the controversial theme that a five hundred year old mass murderer should not be honored with a national holiday. The group set up a display of local Native American culture and also, for some reason, covered a statue of a different explorer with copies of the academic honesty policy with the word 'PLAGERISM' written on them. But their most controversial proposition was that perhaps it was time to retire a holiday honoring a clueless, genocidal psychopath who was lucky enough to discover a land that had already been discovered at least once before, five hundred years prior to his arrival. Others have pointed out that it's kind of weird to say that this maniac 'discovered' anywhere, considering that there were already people living in the places he 'discovered', who he proceeded to massacre.

In an interview with News from Rockettopia, the leader of the PAUSE club said of Columbus, "This is a man who misjudged the side of the earth by a factor of roughly four. This is a man who would have killed every person on his expiditon had he not luckily run into some islands. This is a man who's first thoughts upon encountering the friendly, welcoming people of the Bahamas was 'they would make good slaves'. This is a man who later did just that, and ended up wiping out an entire ethnic group. This is a man who was so cruel, that the Spainish - the fucking SPAINISH - arrested him for his crimes against the natives! Perhaps we shouldn't be revering this guy quite so much?" Many people across the United States appear to agree, and today has seen numerous instances of vandalism of Columbus statues, most notably one in Detroit which took an axe to the head.

However, this attitude is not universally accepted. Most notably, a few decades ago, noted Boston Globe columnist Jeff Jacoby claimed that, and I am not fucking with you here, "[Columbus] was also the man who sowed the seeds of Western civilization in the New World -- a world that until then had known little more than superstition, slavery, and savagery." and "Only the culture that made possible an Age of Exploration could make possible 'We hold these truths to be self-evident; that all men are created equal.'", lines which somehow did not result in Jacoby being fired from the Globe for racism. In fact, he still is somehow allowed to write a Globe column to this day. As a sidenote, Columbus day was originally established to celebrate Italian-American heritage in 1792; Columbus presumably having been chosen because more ethically sound Italians such as Benito Mussolini had not yet arrived. Perhaps next year will see the end of Columbus day, but let's face it: So long as they get their iPhones, cheap gasoline, assault rifles, and Big Macs, Americans don't give a shit.

by xkcd