I can UNDERSTAND pessimism, but I don't BELIEVE in it. It's not simply a matter of faith, but of historical EVIDENCE. Not overwhelming evidence, just enough to give HOPE, because for hope we don't need certainty, only POSSIBILITY.
Time to Abolish Columbus Day
By Bill Bigelow
Once again this year many schools will pause to commemorate Christopher Columbus. Given everything we know about who Columbus was and what he launched in the Americas, this needs to stop.
Columbus initiated the trans-Atlantic slave trade, in early February 1494, first sending several dozen enslaved Taínos to Spain. Columbus described those he enslaved as “well made and of very good intelligence,” and recommended to King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella that taxing slave shipments could help pay for supplies needed in the Indies. A year later, Columbus intensified his efforts to enslave Indigenous people in the Caribbean.
Italian Americans Who Fought for Justice
Want to honor Italian heritage? Skip Columbus and learn about these justice fighters.
In the fight to abolish Columbus Day, we invariably hear from people who defend the holiday because it recognizes a historic figure of Italian heritage. Our response is that there are many other people of Italian heritage worthy of attention—people who have played an active role in the struggle for labor rights, gay and lesbian rights, human rights, and civil rights. Here are just a few people of note of Italian heritage.
Oct. 12, 1898: Battle of Virden
By Jeff Biggers
Today is Coal Miner’s Day—or used to be: October 12th marks the day a small band of striking coal miners in southern Illinois called out Chicago coal barons and stood their ground at Virden in 1898. By the end of the day, seven miners lay dead, but the the strike-breaking barons had been stopped.