By Ahndrea Blue

Making A Difference Foundation

It is widely known that Christopher Columbus did not, in fact, “discover” America. Leif Erikson, an Icelandic Norseman, actually arrived about 500 years before Columbus. But even that isn’t accurate, for how can someone “discover” a land that is already inhabited by people who had been living there for hundreds, if not thousands, of years?

’m truly baffled by the Columbus Day holiday we continue to acknowledge in this country.

What are we actually commemorating if Columbus didn’t discover the land that is now the U.S.?

We certainly can’t be celebrating his discovery legacy since it doesn’t really exist. And, if anything, Columbus’s legacy wasn’t one worth honoring at all. For so many people, his legacy is of the devastations he brought to the indigenous people who already lived here for centuries. Besides bringing disease to the “new” land that infected and killed many, Columbus was known to be a brutal man who saw himself and other white people as superior to the natives he encountered. He enslaved many of the “inferior” and committed genocide among the people.  

Is that a man worth honoring enough to give his namesake a national holiday, especially with many descendants of the original indigenous people continuing to be marginalized, living in cycles of generational poverty, and still facing racism and discrimination?  

Columbus’s arrival and the subsequent settling of more Europeans here in America caused so much death that Columbus could be compared to the same level of Hitler or Stalin. According to, “new data-driven best estimate is a death toll of 56 million by the beginning of the 1600s – 90 percent of the pre-Columbian Indigenous population and around 10 percent of the global population at the time. This makes the ‘Great Dying’ the largest human mortality event in proportion to the global population, putting it second in absolute terms only to World War II, in which 80 million people died – 3% of the world’s population at the time.”

We need to end Columbus Day and start celebrating and honoring the group of people most affected by the colonization of this land: the indigenous people. Instead of celebrating a man who didn’t actually discover anything and only created long-term destruction, we need to do better! 

Instead, let’s spend the day known as “Columbus Day” making a difference in the lives of others!

Ahndrea Blue is president and CEO of the Making A Difference Foundation. Contact her at (253) 212-2778 and