Columbus Day Letter

October 18th, 2013

Columbus Day Letter - More Holidays

It’s a good thing we have the children to tell it like it is.

(submitted by April)

56 Responses to “Columbus Day Letter”

  1. Amy says:

    If you don’t like, don’t read it or look at it and move on. No one is forcing you!

  2. ronda says:

    face it…. at one time or another we are all can be savage beasts when we want something…. its just how far you will go to get it… that makes you who and what you are. my new motto …don’t be a Columbus :-)

  3. tootsiebunz says:

    you know, indians were pretty brutal too.
    nobody ever tells that story.
    sure we encroached on their territory but they were generally a very violent, murderous bunch already. if you want to get down to it, there are very few people we should be celebrating. but i’m with the kid. Mr. C doesn’t warrant his own holiday.

    • Debra says:

      That’s BS. Some of the tribes were warrior tribes and fought other warrior tribes, this is true. But the majority of American Indians were peaceful nations. Where did you get this “information” anyway? The General Custer school of history? Wow.

      • Nakor says:

        dont worry Debra. ole tootsiebunz has bought into the “how great the US is” bs story that we are fed. remember, history is written by the “winners”. the atrocities levied against the native americans parallels what nazi germany did to the jewish community. the way they (natives) lived, thought, worked, enjoyed life would have been so much more useful to the advancement of this country than the all out greed brought to the US by elitists. what a shame.

  4. Deborah says:

    That was pretty hilarious.

  5. RL says:

    Ooooh….bet this gets more responses than the Kirk Cameron pic.

    I think it’s really funny that people are getting so nasty (“You’re picking on a little girl!” “You’re an idiot if you don’t want to read about it here!”) just because people are pointing out that this is NOT a site for debating controversies, politics, religion, etc. (But hey, the Powers That Be posted it. So be it.)

    No I don’t hate the little girl, no I don’t buy “Happy Columbus Day” cards, and yes I read.

    You Columbus haters sure are a rude bunch!

  6. Joe says:

    I must admit that this site is usually simply a forum for gentle kind fun and it makes me sad to see all this anger from so many but I also have to say that I find it amazing that we are willing to relegate FACTUAL TRUTHS about Christopher Columbus, Global Warming, hate crimes, the effects of smoking etc. etc. etc. to “POLITICAL OPINIONS”. Since when did factual truths become political opinions? … America, land of denial.

  7. Lynn says:

    I think it is awkward in that the letter-writer points out the absurdity of granting a holiday to someone who practiced genocide. Very awkward. Also, I love her writing style:

    “Who does that? Columbus did.” That’s funny.

    Okay, so I give it points for awkward and funny. It’s not a photo, but neither was the infamous “Thanksgiving letter” from Marnie (??), and I think we can all agree on the awkwardness/humor contained therein.

    So leave Olivia alone, you mean grown-ups. And stop celebrating Columbus anything.

  8. ORVILLE RIPLE Y says:

    Dear Olivia, You made me a proud grandpa when I read your letter to our President.

  9. ORVILLE r says:

    You make your grsndpa very proud

  10. William says:

    It’s fitting that most of the complaints can be roughly translated as “Ugh! Is there nowhere left for me to escape that pesky reality, with all its facts?”, since the only place where telling historical truths can be considered “political”, while suppressing them is not, is somewhere outside of reality. And they are historical truths, and they didn’t end 600 years ago. Read Mark Twain’s King Leopold’s Soliloquy for a more recent example, or learn more about our current world, for that matter.

    If you want to escape uncomfortable truths, then go sit in a peaceful meadow and entertain yourselves; nobody owes it to you to shield you from reality because you think it’s “political”.

    • VelmaDinkley says:

      Bravo! Thank you, William, for being so intelligent and reasonable.

    • Louise says:

      …….but it’s NOT an awkward family photo. I was not aware that this website was a forum to “tell historical truths.”

      • @Louise says:

        There has been plenty of posts that weren’t awkward family photos and you had no problems with those.
        You can’t tell them how to run their website, if you don’t want to hear “historical truths”, as you ever so obnoxiously put in quotation marks, then go on a revisionist website and proceed to deny anything logical and truthful.

  11. Lavander says:

    I come to Awkward Family Photos for (shock shock) awkward family photos. Not political hate mongering. Give me a break at least on this ONE site AFP! Get back to the innocent and fun family photos and leave the hatred and bickering to other lesser sites.

    • Sandi Goodman says:

      She’s a little girl, it was her picture and she posted it. Grow up and get over it! This was written by an innocent child asking a reasonable question in a family friendly?? public forum. Knowing this loving caring child as I do I can assure you that hate mongering doesn’t apply here.

      • RL says:

        Sandi, I can’t speak for Lavander but I’ll venture a guess she was referring to nasty comments, such as yours. I’m sure the little darling is wonderful, but the issue for most folks is they don’t want to have to deal with the rude comments that certain topics can bring about as evidenced below and above. Those topics are usually avoided here. So I think for most people, the issue is with “the powers that be” that chose to post it. (I have no opinion on this topic, it’s not my site and not my fight.)

        • William says:

          Was that a typo? I see nothing nasty about Sandi’s comment, unless telling someone who calls a child’s truthful letter “political hate mongering” to grow up and get over it is nasty.

          You may think my initial comment is nasty, but it was also mostly in reponse to Lavander’s post, which struck me as particularly nasty itself. I think some of what you consider the rudeness of some replies is a response to the presumptuous nature of telling someone what belongs on their own website.

          Overall though, I think everyone is being pretty level-headed on what is apparently a divisive topic.

        • William says:

          And just to clarify, I understand that Lavander may have been calling the comments hate mongering and not necessarily the letter itself. It’s a little unclear (I originally did think it was about the letter, as I didn’t see any real nastiness in the comments), but if it’s about the comments it’s not nasty, just greatly exaggerated imo.

  12. Louise says:

    What’s the point of this? This website has been a daily favorite of mine for quite some time. People don’t come here for political opinions. Please don’t ruin it.

  13. The Pontificator says:

    Just stick with the awkward family photos, please.

  14. Lance says:

    I love Christopher Columbus <3<3<3

  15. Larissa says:


  16. Jill says:

    I don’t know whether or not Columbus was guilty of what Olivia says more than 600 years ago, but I do wonder how anyone can quote “facts” without having anything to back it up.
    Also, to find out the real story about Native Americans and their disappearance in “Empire of the Summer Moon, a deeply researched account that shows that there were no clean hands…white, black, or red.

    • Julia Stebakova says:

      “A people’s history of the United States” by Howard Zinn is a great read. It’s a very informative, well-researched historical account. The 1st chapter is actually about Columbus and includes notes from his personal logbook while he was sailing.

    • jay says:

      I found the letter adorable and it strikes me quite credibly as being from a thoughtful, conscientious, 10 year old girl. She is wise beyond her years. The adults posting here however should be held to a higher standard when applying 21st century, western morals to historical figures and practices. As S.C. Gwynne astutely points out in “Empire,” the now realized atrocities that were committed by Native Americans and white settlers alike should not be judged through the lens of an evolved civilization.

      Many find it easy to believe that the world is becoming increasingly violent and less moral. While there are certainly many areas where we seem to be digressing, overall, society is a much more sensitive and less brutal place than it once was. In general, the further back you go in history, the more despicable things were. Slavery, public torture, crucifixions, are just a few examples. Hideous practices such as these are now relegated to the likes of deranged psychopaths, extreme fundamentalist sects, and a select few governments who continue to ignore the sanctity of human life and equal rights of all individuals.

      Throughout time, people have battled over land and power. The forces with greater might or superior technology consistently used the full extent of their resources to defeat their rivals. The assault on Native Americans by white settlers and ultimately the US Government was not materially different from how native tribes treated each other, they simply had better technology and were unified. Had Europeans never come to the western hemisphere, the Apache who commented here would likely be posting in Comanche. In the US, people celebrate the Fourth of July while Jefferson Davis day is certainly not a holiday. Even though rebellious revolutions were enacted. The victor prevails. The way of the world. Always has been.

      The good news is that we ARE evolving. We learn from mistakes. We come to detest injustice of all forms. We hopefully strive to limit and hope to eradicate all brutality. We learn to love more and hate less. Hopefully become more compassionate as a people. But none of us are likely to see utopia in our lifetimes. But we are not able to accurately judge historical figures such as Christopher Columbus, or even to torture and disfigurement of a young white girl from our vantage point, with no comprehension for the circumstances, culture and morals of a distant time.

      So to Olivia’s precious question, “Who does that?” Hopefully nobody anymore Olivia – or if they do, hopefully they are apprehended or conquered and punished. And by the way, I’m not so sure we should have holidays for any individual. :)

  17. VelmaDinkley says:

    You may want to have a look at the Wikipedia entry for “Christopher Columbus” and scroll down to the second half of “Accusations of tyranny and genocide during governorship.” It’s quite a read. Highlights include “under Columbus and subsequent governors, enslaved Hispaniola natives were forced to toil under brutal conditions in mining and farming camps. According to Las Casas, up to a third of the male slaves died during each six- to eight-month mining operation” and “As for the newly born, they died early because their mothers, overworked and famished, had no milk to nurse them, and for this reason, while I was in Cuba, 7000 children died in three months.”

    Comparing this guy to Martin Luther King is absurd. There is nothing wrong with this kid’s letter, provided that it came from a real kid.

    • Sandi Goodman says:

      This message “did” come from a real kid. I know her well. She is very bright and I am so proud of her ability to articulate her personal feelings regarding material she has read about CC It was not a surprise to me as I have heard her express her questions and intellectual views many times and often to the amazement of adults. Olivia is a very sweet and conscientious child who can also be found working to save a creature or our world. We need more children like Olivia in this world!

  18. ann o. nymous says:

    1. not awkward
    2. not a family
    3. not a photo

    AFP says: “We want to keep this site a friendly place to be awkward.” Well, inviting political wrangling in the comments by posting something like this is not going to achieve that goal.

    • Julia Stebakova says:

      Blah blah blah. Because it’s probably the only way to get your attention since you’re not likely to find yourself in a place to get it anywhere else, such a history book.

  19. Jewbus says:

    Why is this on on awkwardfamilyphotos dot com? It is neither awkward, of a family, or a photograph.

  20. VelmaDinkley says:

    That’s not awkward. She’s right; he was a monster. Making a holiday to celebrate somebody who enslaved people and started a cataclysmic genocide is celebrating the colonization and oppression of the enslaved and dispossessed. It’s an insult, and makes the entire society that celebrates it look like an assembly of the arrogant, heavy-handed morons that Americans get stereotyped as in movies.

    • Ummmmmmm says:

      Velma. Come on, you’re better than that. I don’t care to read anything about CC–good or bad–when I came to the site to LAUGH. You don’t hear enough political BS on the web? You want to bring it here?

      • @Ummmm says:

        It’s THEIR website, and they can do what they want with it,
        It’s not “political BS”, it’s cold hard truth you are in denial of.

  21. Linda says:

    This reeks of being a set-up. The writing is way too polished to have come from a child.

  22. Mark says:

    This isn’t an awkward family photo, it is a letter. Whether or not you agree or disagree with Columbus Day being celebrated, this isn’t amusing or humorous so why is it on here? Does this make it okay to submit another letter about how maybe we shouldn’t celebrate Martin Luther King Day because he had a criminal past and wasn’t as squeaky clean as the history books describe him? He’s not any different from Columbus so let’s not denounce one holiday without judging them all. George Washington kept slaves, and we celebrate him and put him on our money. It’s good this child is thinking and trying to make a difference, but she hasn’t been told all the facts.

    • Leonard says:


      I come to this site to get AWAY from all the political and social posturing and nitpicking and finger-pointing. PLEASE don’t go down that road, AFP!

    • VelmaDinkley says:

      If you’re comparing a Nobel Peace Prize winner to an opportunist who enslaved and destroyed entire populations for his own personal gain, then you’re the one who doesn’t have enough information, and it’s probably by choice. This question is more about historical accuracy than politics.

      • Ummmmmmm says:

        OGM. Velma. Please! HUSH! Go political rant somewhere else.

        • David H says:

          Wow. Listen to you. All you came here to say is to tell somebody what they can’t say? She’s absolutely right on the historical facts. If you can’t face reality that’s your problem. Maybe some people feel compelled to speak out because they get tired of having to face all the ignorance and stupidity in silence . Did you ever think of that?

  23. teamstrand says:

    What schools still celebrate Columbus Day? I have been a teacher for 20 + years and have never had that “holiday” off. Actually, the only schools around our area that do take the day off are the BIA schools on the Indian Reservations.

    • Emma says:

      We always have it off. It is in lieu of Veterans Day here. Saves us from the issue of Veterans Day falling immediately after election day, which is a student holiday.

  24. Classic Steve says:

    Any word on how old Olivia is (or was at the time)?

  25. DriaC says:

    Way to go Poppet!!
    My thoughts exactly…

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