How Not to Party for Columbus Day
So this is the weekend that everyone comes out of the woodwork to celebrate Columbus Day, named for the scraggly, lost explorer who arrived on Turtle Island’s shores 500-plus years ago on October 12.
Nowadays it’s celebrated as a holiday, and what holiday is complete without a party or two? Besides clinging to the now-debunked notion that Christopher Columbus discovered a virtually uninhabited Turtle Island, celebrants make the most of the long weekend. The day is noted as one of the few holidays granted to the descendants of both settlers and Indigenous Peoples by modern corporate culture. Given nothing but scraps of time off, the exhausted and overworked will scrabble for these precious minutes the way starving people do for crumbs.
A quick Google search for Columbus Day parties refreshingly does not yield much more than a Harvard frat shindig three years ago that was followed by an apology. Termed the "Conquistabros and Navajos" frat party, it was given by Sigma Chi. But after being pilloried on the website Native Appropriations, the fraternity apologized. That frat, at least, will probably not make that mistake again.
This year’s most visible offering is a tongue-in-cheek list of faux-awesome Columbus Day parties one could throw, clearly poking fun at the notion that the Italian explorer discovered anything that hadn’t already been discovered years, if not centuries, before he got there.
“You don't really see a lot of people throwing Columbus Day parties,” the site says by way of introduction. “You know why? THEY DON'T KNOW HOW. Follow these tips to DISCOVER the fun!”
Here’s how to “party” on Columbus Day, according to TruTV.com.
First, “tell everybody the party will be in India,” TruTV says. “Go somewhere else. Wherever you end up, throw down.”
It’s also important to reach out to your hosts.
“When you arrive, tell the people who live there that you will conquer them and govern as you please,” TruTV says. “Repeatedly call them Indians. If they actually are Indians, call them something else.”
And under “If You Liked It Then You Shoulda Put A Flag In It,” there’s, “Get to the party late. Loudly walk around proclaiming you were there first.”
There are plenty more where this came from, all accompanied by vivid illustrations from across the years. It brings to mind the highly circulated Columbus Day memes out there, not to mention the editorial cartoons.
RELATED: Columbus Day: The Cartoons
Learn about all of the Top 10 Awesomely Dumb Ways to Celebrate Columbus Day.