• Rusty Gorelick (COM’22)

    Editorial Intern Twitter Profile

    Rusty Gorelick (COM’22) is an aspiring journalist in the Boston University College of Communication Class of 2022. He was editor-in-chief of his high school newspaper at the Pennington School, the Penntonian, and has written about sports for The Sixer Sense on Fansided, the Goalmouth Scramble, Paste Magazine, and more. Profile

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There are 11 comments on The Columbus Day Weekender: October 8 to 12

  1. I’m surprised, in a climate that is increasingly sensitive to the realities of the history surrounding and following the “discovery” of this hemisphere, your headline and teaser for this story in the email and landing page referred to “Columbus Day” weekend. Perhaps “Holiday” weekend would have sufficed, or even just what’s on your actual story page, “The Weekender.”

  2. If BU Faculty, Staff and Students are interested in visiting the ICA, MFA or Gardner Museum this weekend, please visit our website for promo codes and links for timed tickets: bu.edu/arts/memberships.

  3. It would be appreciated if Boston University, as an institution, would stop celebrating a man who inflicted gross atrocities upon First Nations people. There is already a holiday they can recognize in place of Columba’s day called Indigenous people’s day. I think it’s time to be progressive in this matter. As a major university, its important for BU to lead the way, not lag behind and support false historical narratives, and praise obviously indecent human beings.

  4. Here to comment on what others have said. In light of recent conversations about racial justice, the University touting the recruitment of Ibram X. Kendi and opening conversations on anti-racism, the title of this article highlights that BU has a long way to go. Well done on getting the ball started but the University has to do the hard work of interrogating our racist policies and practices. Changing the name of this day to Indigenous Peoples’ Day University-wide is the lowest hanging fruit you could imagine. It’s disappointing and telling that not a single soul at BU Today had the social awareness to question this title.

  5. Thank you for the nicely written Columbus Day article. I only hope that the commenters here are not BU history or philosophy majors, as they are applying 21st century moral judgments to 15th century events. In addition, they have the advantage of knowing the outcome, so casting judgment now seems like a no-brainer. Ever wonder what historians will say in 400 years about our modern events and comments?

    I would also hope the the responders will apply the same techniques to study and form opinions about the Russian February Revolution and its consequences, Soviet Stalinism, German National Socialism, and Mao’s Cultural Revolution, all of which approached history with the same zeal and desire to nullify and interpret it for its own liberal, fascist or marxist agendas.

    1. It should not matter what lens genocide, slaughter, and enslavement is viewed through. There is no excuse for it. Entire populations of Caribbean islands were eliminated in just a few years.

      It’s one thing to take over someone else’s land, but what the conquistadors did to the native population is nothing to celebrate. If we were to view Columbus through his own timeframe and culture, we would still see a man who was convicted in Spain of grossly cruel mismanagement of the New World provinces he was assigned to govern (although he eventually managed to shorten his prison time through the favor of Queen Isabella).

      As far as history and history majors are concerned: anyone who thinks the standard issue candy-coated American History school book accurately portrayed Columbus should do some additional research. If anyone believes Columbus’ landing was progress for anyone outside the ruling class of Spain should do some research, as well.

      Part of the mythology of Columbus’ great accomplishments largely stems from grossly fudged Spanish claims. Further misinformation comes from the 19th Century Washington Irving’s immensely apocryphal account of Columbus’ life. A more accurate (and damning) source of Columbus’ actions is his very own diary written in his very own words.

      The fact is: Columbus didn’t discover much of anything (no matter what angle one views it from). He discovered things for Spain only, but that’s about it. It was already widely known among 15th Century educated people that the Earth was round. That knowledge was recorded by Greeks around 200 BC and observed by a number other civilizations as well. Columbus miscalculated the circumference of the globe by 25% (after Eratosthenes correctly estimated it around 200 BC). So he was quite lucky to run into the Americas, as he would’ve had a supply problem before reaching the real Asia.

      There were already people living in the Americas, so the continent was already discovered. Even some Europeans had already reached American shores before him. I can gladly live with Leif Erickson’s statue just outside the BU campus.

      To his dying day (after three cross-Atlantic voyages), Columbus never even acknowledged the fact that he hadn’t reached Asia or the East Indies. He adamantly insisted that he did. He also never set foot on any future US state, and (contrary to popular belief) was not Italian born and never spoke Italian.

      I won’t go so far as to assume that if he didn’t arrived in the New World someone else might not have been similarly cruel or reckless. Nor would I say Christopher Columbus is someone to ignore… but he certainly doesn’t deserve to be revered with a holiday in a country he never once set foot in.

  6. What eyes should “genocide, slaughter, and enslavement” practiced by native population’s of Americas be viewed through?
    Let’s be objective and not portray pre-Columbus Americas as a “Garden of Eden” If you do not want to celebrate Columbus day go ahead and celebrate Indigenous people day and their great accomplishments.
    The fundamental issues is that to the quasi-left, Columbus symbolizes everything which is wrong with western civilization and its heritage.
    The entire conversation about Columbus is nothing more then the desire by neo bourgeoisie to keep the conversation away from addressing real issues facing USA society: cost and access to education, access to healthcare, housing, stagnate wages and plight of the true (non academia) working class of this country.

    1. Konrad, it has been said elsewhere on BU Today posts that you have a fair bit of learning to do before your voice counts in this subject. Hope you’re taking time to think through what you say before you click the “submit comment” buttons on all these posts.

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