Celebrate America’s first peoples, not Columbus | AspenTimes.com

Celebrate America’s first peoples, not Columbus

This is a response to James DeFrancia and Louisa B. Caucia criticizing Aspen City Council for considering replacing Columbus Day with Indigenous People's Day.

A few facts: Christopher Columbus never discovered America, never even landed on this continent. He was a great navigator but a monstrosity of a human being. He was the first transatlantic slave trader, committed unspeakable acts of cruelty (cutting off hands of about 10,000 indigenous people and much worse). In addition to being a murderer, he and his men were rapists using children as sex slaves. His legacy was the extermination of the Taino's civilization, dehumanization of American Indians that in turn led to an enormous genocide.

With him came the Doctrine of Discovery, the basis of all European claims in the Americas justifying the theft of Indigenous lands and the attempted destruction of American Indian Nations. Columbus is no hero, just as bad as Hitler and Mao. For Italian heritage, how about celebrating Leonardo Da Vinci or Michelangelo or Padre Pio? We only want respect and acknowledgement of the first peoples of this continent, tolerance and unification of all individuals who make America what it is today.

Deanne Vitrac-Kessler

Woody Creek