Los Angeles Is Right: Columbus Day Is a Shameful Holiday

Christopher Columbus is a source of a lot of ire for people. We celebrate a holiday (a federal holiday) to honor a man for discovering North America, but the irony is that he didn’t discover America. He didn’t even land on its shores. Columbus discovered the Bahamas and South America. What he really did was lead a genocide on indigenous peoples and began the colonization of lands already occupied by Native Americans.

So why on earth do we continue to celebrate this vagabond who accidentally ended up on another continent and slaughtered an entire people? It’s not rhetorical, we are honestly still wondering. Well, it seems like Los Angeles is wondering the same thing. The city council just voted 14-1 to get rid of the holiday and rename it Indigenous Peoples Day to honor the original inhabitants of this land. This is a move that Seattle made as well, and there’s been widespread support in the wake of that decision.

This made us wonder what other holidays we celebrate that we really shouldn’t. We have compiled a list for you, ranging from the utterly pointless to the downright shameful.

Black Friday

People walk past a shopfront on Oxford Street advertising 'Black Friday' discounts

People walk past a shopfront on Oxford Street advertising Black Friday discounts. | Rob Stothard/Getty Images

This is not an official holiday. As far as we know, the Federal Government and all 50 states do not recognize this as an official holiday. Yet, every single year, we find ourselves going through all the pageantry, pomp, and circumstance that is our collective economic machine at work. You’ll notice irony being a theme in a lot of these stupid holidays, and this one is no exception.

The holiday season or Christmas season is about giving and kindness. Yet, every single year, we as good little spenders run to the superstores across the nation to fight with our neighbor and trample fellow citizens, just to be sure we can get an incredible deal on something ultimately stupid. With the advent of online shopping, this should be a thing of the past, so just stop doing it.

Next: If you participate in this next holiday, you’re the worst kind of person.

April Fool’s Day

Crew from the Jimmy Kimmel Show prank passerby by pretending to dig up and remove the Donald Trump Star and replace it with one for Cesar Milan on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in Hollywood, California

Crew from Jimmy Kimmel Live! prank passerby by pretending to dig up and remove the Donald Trump Star and replace it with one for Cesar Millan on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in Hollywood, California. | MARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty Images

This is one of those days when we just turn off the computer, television, and phone, cut our neighborhoods LAN lines, seal our bunker hatches, and ignore every living human on the planet. The point is, you can’t trust anyone. You can’t trust your wife, husband, brother, sister, mother, father, and you especially can’t trust your supposed best friend.

It’s the one day a year when you are given full permission to be unkind. More than that, pranks gone awry can even have fatal consequences, all for the sake of being able to say you pulled one over on your friends and loved ones. So next time you feel compelled to participate in April Fool’s Day … don’t. Just don’t.

Next: The world’s most pointless and confusing holiday ever

Groundhog Day

Groundhog handler Ron Ploucha holds Punxsutawney Phil after he saw his shadow

Groundhog handler Ron Ploucha holds Punxsutawney Phil after he saw his shadow. | Jeff Swensen/Getty Images

In the 21st century, we have satellites in the sky that can track weather patterns, analyze those patterns, and give you accurate weather information with a week’s notice. We have an army of climate scientists who can predict the following season’s weather patterns with relative ease. Yet, we still get up on Feb. 2 and listen to a freaking groundhog.

Why? Worst of all, people like me get asked all day long whether or not we’ve seen our shadows (my name is Phillip if you didn’t gather that). I don’t even know if the little varmint is supposed to see his shadow and we get six more weeks of winter or if it’s the other way around. I don’t care. It’s still February and I won’t be able to feel my hands until June.

Next: The most commercial waste of time ever

Any of the so-called ‘Hallmark Holidays’

Rachel Horsman holds a rose - for the photographer - above 10,000 red roses laid upon the gallery floor

Rachel Horsman holds a rose — for the photographer — above 10,000 red roses laid upon the gallery floor. | Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images

Hallmark holidays are so-called due to the fact that they really don’t have any other reason to exist outside of the commercial sector. They’re created to give a bump in sales for each respective holiday. Ties for Father’s Day, flowers for Valentine’s Day, and greeting cards for Mother’s Day. Ostensibly, it’s great to show some appreciation to the most important people in our lives. It shouldn’t take a holiday to remind you to do that.

Next: This next holiday should only exist in one part of the country and stay there.

Mardi Gras

Floats in the Rex parade roll along St. Charles avenue on Mardi Gras in New Orleans, Louisiana.

Floats in the Rex parade roll along St. Charles Avenue on Mardi Gras in New Orleans, Louisiana. | Chris Graythen/Getty Images

Mardis Gras, also known as Fat Tuesday, is supposed to be a day in which you can indulge in whatever it is you’re supposed to be giving up for Lent. However, it has turned into one of the drunkest holidays across the nation. For some states, it’s the deadliest holiday of the year. The irony that almost no one gives up alcohol for Lent and gets absolutely wrecked on Mardi Gras speaks volumes about its utter pointlessness. Unless you live in New Orleans, just stop thinking of any excuse you can to get loaded on a Tuesday.

Next: Not to beat a dead horse, but it’s still recognized nationally.

Columbus Day

Yes, we know we just went over this in the preamble, but it’s still a federal holiday that is recognized nationally. Seattle and LA may be ahead of the social curve on this one, but it is really offensive to keep this holiday. Just imagine if we had a holiday called Robert E. Lee Day to celebrate the Confederate general’s bravery for fighting for the South.

Next: You have got to be kidding me.

Yup, there’s a Robert E. Lee Day

A statue of Confederate commanding general Robert E. Lee

A statue of Confederate commanding general Robert E. Lee | MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images

Some people know this holiday exists, but they probably only know it because they live in Alabama, Mississippi, or Florida. Only in Florida is it recognized as an official holiday, however. Nevertheless, for some reason, this is a holiday where we observe a general who killed hundreds of thousands of U.S. citizens (remember that he fought for a foreign country because the Confederacy declared itself an independent nation).

To add insult to injury, the holiday is celebrated on the third Monday in January, also known more commonly as Martin Luther King Jr. Day. Let that sink in. It’s largely celebrated as a recognition of a culture’s heritage (or so claimed to be), but that’s no excuse given the context that it’s recognized. Time to get rid of this one for good.

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