The Instigator
Shtookah
Pro (for)
Losing
44 Points
The Contender
adealornodeal
Con (against)
Winning
49 Points

Columbus Day Should Not be Celebrated.

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 19 votes the winner is...
adealornodeal
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 12/24/2010 Category: Miscellaneous
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 20,234 times Debate No: 14134
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (46)
Votes (19)

 

Shtookah

Pro

I wish to debate whether or not Columbus Day should be celebrated. It is in my opinion that Columbus's legacy is grossly misrepresented and that his "accomplishments" was nothing more but a failed journey riddled with genocide and imperialism. Thus, Columbus shouldn't be honored with a national holiday.

Before going into detail, I await an opponent to accept my debate and agree to only ONE term....

1. If you accept this debate, as con you must make the argument why Columbus Day SHOULD/REMAIN celebrated. (THAT SIMPLE)
adealornodeal

Con

Whether or not Columbus Day should be celebrated lies in whether or not it is a national holiday. Thus, the resolution should read:

Resolved: Columbus Day should not be a national holiday.

Definition:

Columbus Day: a federal holiday as declared by President Benjamin Harrison in 1892 celebrating the arrival of Christopher Columbus in the Americas.

Framework:

As my opponent has stated, the BOP for the CON is to show why Columbus Day should still be a national holiday. Thus, the BOP for the PRO is to refute the contentions presented by the CON and establish his own advocating why we should no longer make Columbus Day a national holiday. Additionally, read Contention 3 for the last part of PRO's BOP, where he must prove that there is bad INTENT in celebrating Columbus Day.

---

Arguments:

Contention 1: America has long admired Columbus

Columbus Day marks the arrival of Europeans to the New World, and celebrates the "beginning of a cultural exchange between America and Europe"[1]. America has more Columbus statues and Columbus memorabilia than any other nation in the world. He's admired for his bravery in sailing West at a time when most uneducated believed the world to be flat.

Contention 2: Columbus Day is the only day which recognizes the heritage of almost 26 million Italian Americans.

Columbus Day became a national holiday in 1971 after Congress passed a law stating that the second Monday in October is Columbus Day. Along with the accomplishments of Columbus, the law passed in 1971 commemorates the arrival of over 5 million Italians a century prior. Columbus Day is thus the only day which recognizes the heritage of a group now nearly 26 million in size.

Contention 3: Intent

It is important as we judge this debate to consider the intent of Columbus Day. The intent, as defined, is to celebrate Columbus's arrival to the New World. Much like how Manifest Destiny didn't encourage the killing of Natives and much like how Independence Day doesn't celebrate the killing of British in the Revolutionary War, Columbus Day doesn't celebrate the deaths of Native Americans that may have ensued. It's a celebration of the discovery of the New World. In order for my opponent to win this round, he MUST prove that there is bad intent in celebrating Columbus Day. Unless he does so, he cannot win. This is added to his BOP.

---

Refutations:
++represent my opponent's arguments

++"It is in my opinion that Columbus's legacy is grossly misrepresented"++

How has his legacy been misrepresented? He discovered two new continents, and that's what he's celebrated for on Columbus Day.

++"His "accomplishments" was nothing more but a failed journey"++

Again, how was it a failed journey? I understand that my opponent is upset over the deaths of natives that ensued after the discovery of the New World, but the intent of Columbus Day is to celebrate the discovery of continents on which 1 billion people now reside [2] [3]. When Columbus Day is described or taught in classrooms, it's taught as a celebration of discovery. No one is celebrating death on Columbus Day.

Furthermore, Westward expansion and Manifest Destiny are two deeply rooted American beliefs, but as a result of them many Native Americans were killed. Should we remove the verse "from sea to shining sea" from the national anthem [4] because it hints to those who died in westward expansion? Should we no longer celebrate Independence Day because we killed many British and lost American lives during the preceding war?

++Columbus Day celebrates "genocide and imperialism."++

Basically, my opponent is a) claiming that Columbus Day celebrates the deaths of Natives, b) imperialism is bad, and c) he is upset about it.
My responses:

a) that isn't the intent of the holiday. and,
b) imperialism was the way of the world back then.
c) the killing of Natives wasn't a genocide. The primary cause of death was smallpox, which was unintentionally brought from Europe to the Americas. Disease easily traveled across continents thanks to sea travel. and,
d) Columbus was merely an explorer, actually didn't do much in the Americas except travel. He made four voyages and stopped at numerous locations on the Americas. It was the later conquistadors who were the ones who enslaved and killed natives on a large scale.

The resolution has been negated.

I thank my opponent for posting this debate and eagerly anticipate his responses and upcoming contentions.

[1] http://www.osia.org...
[2] http://en.wikipedia.org...
[3] http://en.wikipedia.org...
[4] http://en.wikipedia.org...
Debate Round No. 1
Shtookah

Pro

Where to begin...

First off Christopher Columbus's journey, in other words his goal, was in fact a failure. Considering his intent was to find a quicker trade route to India in order to acquire goods such as silk.. This did not happen. Columbus's "discovery" was an accident and for that matter a complete fraud. Con asks, "How has his legacy been misrepresented?".. Simple, Columbus didn't discover jack. The Americas had already been flourishing with civilizations thus were in fact inhabited, making the "discovery" a bit of an overstatement.

Secondly, con clearly doesn't understand my reasoning for why Columbus Day should not be celebrated. For starters my opponent made the ridiculous comparison to the genocide of the Arawak Indians to the fight for independence that lead to the birth of the United States. I fail to see how the deaths of genocidal imperialism compare to the casualties of the Revolutionary War.
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My rebuttal to con's arguments..

(C1) It's nice knowing that my opponent wishes to speak collectively for the entire nation of the United States. However, I'm afraid that's an unjust claim. In other words, how do you know Columbus's acts where a product of bravery? Just because someone is beloved a certain way doesn't exactly make that someone a "good guy". Much less an honorable one.. Columbus's fame is a product of false idolization.

(C2) Perhaps Italians deserve a day that would actually reflect Italian pride.

(C3) The intent of the holiday is to celebrate Columbus and his "achievement". Sense both Columbus and his achievement sincerely do not deserve really any sense of honoring in the first place.. The intent is unjustified.
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My Responses to con's rebuttal..

a) Again, the intent of the holiday is to celebrate Columbus and his "achievement". Knowing that Christopher Columbus's discovery, really wasn't a discovery.. Knowing that Columbus and his predecessors did nothing but enslave and bring fatal diseases to natives which eventually lead to their genocide.. Con apparently feels its okay to justify genocide as long as you discover (but not really) land.

b) So was slavery, but that doesn't mean we should celebrate it.

c) An excerpt from Howard Zinn's " A Peoples History of the United States"..
" Trying to put together an army of resistance, the Arawaks faced Spaniards who had armor, muskets, swords, horses. When the Spaniards took prisoners they hanged them or burned them to death. Among the Arawaks, mass suicides began, with cassava poison. Infants were killed to save them from the Spaniards. In two years, through murder, mutilation, or suicide, half of the 250,000 Indians on Haiti were dead. When it became clear that there was no gold left, the Indians were taken as slave labor on huge estates, known later as encomiendas. They were worked at a ferocious pace, and died by the thousands. By the year 1515, there were perhaps fifty thousand Indians left. By 1550, there were five hundred. A report of the year 1650 shows none of the original Arawaks or their descendants left on the island. "

.. You don't see that as genocide..?

d) My opponent stated "Columbus was merely an explorer".. Explorers don't enslave, exploit and dictate entire civilizations. "actually didn't do much in the Americas except travel." .. Where did you learn this? Regardless of how you view Columbus I have never heard that argument before.. That he honestly didn't do much in the Americas except travel..? Really? I ask con to elaborate his statement.

"Let us in the name of the Holy Trinity go on sending all the slaves that can be sold." - Christopher Columbus

.. You wish to celebrate this man..?

Sources:
http://www.historyisaweapon.com...
http://hubpages.com...
http://www.americanindiansource.com...
http://guides.wikinut.com...
A Peoples History of the United States by Howard Zinn
adealornodeal

Con

I'm going to organize today's debate into three main points.

1. Columbus's Discovery

My opponent claims: "Simple, Columbus didn't discover jack. The Americas had already been flourishing with civilizations thus were in fact inhabited, making the "discovery" a bit of an overstatement."

The reason it's called a "discovery" is because the rest of the world didn't know that the Americas were flourishing with civilizations. Thus, for them, it was a huge discovery. The very creation of modern nations in the Americas is a product of trade and travel between Europe and the Americas, which became possible only after Columbus's "discovery", accidental or not. Simply because it was an accident does not mean it shouldn't be celebrated.

So far, it's evident that Columbus's discovery, accidental or not, deserves celebration.

2. Genocide

In addressing my opponent's claims about genocide; as I've proven above, it's a tragedy that such things happened, but Columbus Day doesn't celebrate genocide. Think of Manifest Destiny, a perfect example of how American celebrate what could be a controversial idea (westward expansion at the cost of Native American lives) with good intent. We aren't celebrating their deaths, but rather the triumph of a nation to span an entire continent. Likewise, Columbus Day celebrates the discovery of the new world, not the exploitation of it. Even by definition, "a day, October 12, observed as a holiday in various states of theU.S. in honor of the discovery of the New World by Columbus and his landing in the West Indies on October 12, 1492", [1] Columbus Day merely marks his landing in the New World, not the actions that ensued.

Which brings us to the biggest point in today's round...

3. Malicious Intent

So far, all my opponent has said regarding intent is that since...

"both Columbus and his achievement sincerely do not deserve really any sense of honoring in the first place, intent is unjustified."

First of all, his achievement does deserve honoring; as I have proven, even thought it may have been accidental, it was a huge discovery for Europeans, and perhaps one of the greatest in history. And secondly, whether or not Columbus's achievement deserves honoring is completely unrelated to whether or not we celebrate it with malicious intent. My opponent must prove that when we celebrate on Columbus Day, we're celebrating the deaths of Native Americans. It sounds like a ridiculous BOP because it is; my opponent has made the claim and now must prove it.

Next,

My opponent states: "I fail to see how the deaths of genocidal imperialism compare to the casualties of the Revolutionary War."

In Round 1, I presented two analogies; the first compared Columbus Day to Independence Day. The point being made was that both days commemorate an event in the past which could be misinterpreted. Much like how it would be unreasonable for the British to think we are celebrating the death of British soldiers when we celebrate Independence day, it is just as unrealistic to assume that we celebrate the deaths of Native on Columbus Day.

My second analogy my opponent didn't address. I related Columbus Day to the deeply rooted American principle of Manifest Destiny, or westward expansion. Manifest Destiny is celebrated to this day, taught in textbooks, and has it's own line in the national anthem: "from sea to shining sea". And I'm sure we all haven't forgotten how Americans all but wiped out Native Americans as we moved West. For example, the Trail of Tears in 1831 - 1839, when Cherokee's were marched out of their homeland, which resulted in thousands of deaths by exposure; a true genocide [2]. Is my opponent claiming that by continuing to praise Manifest Destiny as an American ideal and by keeping "sea to shining sea" in our national anthem, that we are celebrating the deaths of Native Americans?

Inconveniently for him; we aren't. And just like how the line "sea to shining sea" does not celebrate the killing of Natives, neither does Columbus Day. The Pro's BOP has not been met.

----

Recalling the PRO's Burden of Proof:

My opponent again must prove malicious intent in celebrating Columbus Day. Even if a hundred genocides occured, if he cannot prove harmful intent in celebrating the holiday, then he cannot win the round.

The BOP of the Pro has not yet been met. The resolution has been negated.

[1] http://dictionary.reference.com...
[2] http://www.cherokeebyblood.com...
Debate Round No. 2
Shtookah

Pro

My opponent seems to be sold on the idea that Columbus should be honored for his "discovery", simply because If it weren't for him, "the very creation of modern nations" wouldn't have occurred. Unfortunately this notion is ridiculous and I will tell you why..

To believe in my opponents claim you have to..
1. Be completely sold with the thought that Columbus and Columbus only was the one individual who desired to travel to the unknown territories of the globe..
2. No one in the future would have had the capacity to pull of Columbus's task..
3. Think that industrialization of nations is accepted by everyone to be an awesome thing.

If the exploration aspect of Columbus's legacy is the big concern for you, than why don't we have a national holiday for NASA to commend there achievements in space exploration? At least they didn't commit genocide..
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My responses to con's 3 main topics

(1) Columbus's "Discovery"

First of the "discovery" was an accident. Columbus had an entire crew behind him, (which he treated horribly) which right off the bat kind of makes it a bit dumb in the first place to give props only to Columbus. Most importantly the discovery is irrelevant. The main concern with which I have with Columbus Day and why I feel it should not be celebrated is purely for who Columbus was, what he ACTUALLY did, what his real intentions were. Which, sorry were frankly evil, imperialistic, and above all SHOULD NOT be honored with a national holiday. Con parades with the notion that the holiday clearly doesn't celebrate the deaths of native Americans.. To which I reply: No sh*t. That's not the point. The point is the holiday commends Christopher Columbus, who is historically DOCUMENTED as a complete sadist who did nothing but exploit and enslave. So no con, I do not have to prove malicious intent in celebrating Columbus Day, all I have to prove is why Christopher Columbus should not be honored with a national holiday.

Con states: "Even if a hundred genocides occurred"..
Obviously my opponent could careless about who is honored nationally as long as they "discovered" something ( By accident) , it doesn't matter how many people or civilizations were wiped out in the process...

(2) Genocide

As much as my opponent may think he's have been "proving" he has really just been running away from my argument. I NEVER said that the intent of Columbus Day was to "celebrate genocide". NOT ONCE IN THE ENTIRE DEBATE! NOT ONCE! Con pulled that argument out of thin air. What I did say was.. "It is in my opinion that Columbus's legacy is grossly misrepresented and that his "accomplishments" was nothing more but a failed journey riddled with genocide and imperialism. Thus, Columbus shouldn't be honored with a national holiday."

Keep in mind that I have restated, and gave further elaboration to my very first argument in both rounds two and three. Con on the other hand has absolutely ignored his first two contentions and merely ran away with his third.

(3) Malicious Intent
I have repeated myself quite enough and I think by now con may get the picture now and stop pulling that argument out of thin air. As for his argument.. Again, if you sincerely believe that Columbus and Columbus alone is THE individual who is single handedly is entitled to be given thanks for the modernization of nations in the America's I'm afraid you're dead wrong.

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*THE BOTTOM LINE*

"Columbus was merely an explorer, actually didn't do much in the Americas except travel. He made four voyages and stopped at numerous locations on the Americas. It was the later conquistadors who were the ones who enslaved and killed natives on a large scale." - Con (Face palm)

Disproven. Don't like RT? Think they're full of it? Ok, how about another source..

Disproven again. Don't like the Biography Channel? Think they're full of it? Alright than, how about another source..

So I'll ignore cons dead wrong perception of Christopher Columbus and grant him the naive proposition being that Columbus was a great explorer who should be credited with the discovery. Why would the U.S. , have national holiday for an explorer who notoriously is known for enslaving indigenous natives and engaging in genocide. Not only that, but above all never set foot in what would now be considered the United States OR even the continent of North America..

I know I've been a bit harsh with words, so I thank con for accepting this debate and I certainly had fun with it, thank you.
adealornodeal

Con

Note: I don't have sufficient characters to respond to my opponent's videos, and because I believe in a debate where the debaters actually do the debating, I will only respond to the arguments my opponent contextualized. The arguments and responses put forth in the form of YouTube videos will not be considered as a judging factor in this round.

My responses:

At the end of the day, it seems that the only person who has misrepresented Columbus's legacy is my opponent.

Four Contentions/Voting issues:

1. "Failure"

My opponent tells us Columbus's journey was a failure and "for that matter a complete fraud." Fraid is "wrongful or criminal deception." [1] Did a Native America send Columbus a postcard telling him that the America's lay west of Europe? Did Columbus somehow... cheat?

"The Americas had already been flourishing with civilizations thus were in fact inhabited, making the "discovery" a bit of an overstatement."

Relative to the rest of the world, it was the greatest discovery of the time - the discovery of a new world outside of the reaches of their known world. Accident or not - he discovered it.

2. Genocide

"Knowing that Columbus and his predecessors did nothing but enslave and bring fatal diseases to natives which eventually lead to their genocide."

Does my opponent really think that Columbus *purposefully* brought smallpox to the New World? And he had no predecessors; he was the first to arrive here. My opponent seems to lack basic knowledge; it was smallpox which killed 90-95% of the Native population in the Americas, not "genocide". [2] Fatal diseases don't "eventually lead" to genocide. Bringing smallpox was no genocide at all - it was an accident.

So that leaves about 5-10% that were enslaved. Okay - Thomas Jefferson owned a slave. Should we not celebrate him as a Founding Father? In fact, nearly all of our Founding Fathers owned a slave - should we just disregard their achievements merely because slavery was a sign of the times? My opponent forgets that 1492 was during the age of imperialism. It was the norm for large, powerful nations such as Spain, France, and England to colonize and cruelly treat the region's natives. Columbus was merely acting the way any other explorer would have acted during his day and age.

In response to my opponent's quote from Howard Zinn's novel:

a) In reference to Columbus and Arawaks:

"On 22 November Columbus returned to Hispaniola, where he intended to visit Fuerte de la Navidad (Christmas Fort), built during his first voyage, and located on the northern coast of Haiti. Columbus found Fuerte de la Navidad in ruins, destroyed by the native Taino people [an Arawak tribe[3]]. Among the ruins were the corpses of eleven of the first thirty-nine Spanish."[4]

It seems that Howard Zinn has merely rewritten history to meet his own ends.

b) the devastating effects Zinn writes about happened between 1515 and 1550. Except... Columbus died in 1506. Hmm...

So, no, actually - this isn't Columbus committing genocide. Columbus was either a) not on Haiti at the time of said "genocide" or b) dead.

This disproves all of my opponent's qualms about Columbus, who, as my opponent states, "did nothing but exploit and enslave".

3. Intent

Recall my analogy to Manifest Destiny, to which my opponent placed no response whatsoever. MD resulted in not only the deaths of many Natives, but basically the elimination of an entire group of people. Should we no longer celebrate Manifest Destiny? No. We celebrate MD because of the success of forming a transcontinental nation, but we DO NOT disrespect the lives lost in the process. Simply because we celebrate something does NOT mean we cast an ignorant light to the lives lost.

4. America has long admired Columbus

Tie this contention in with intent; Columbus is admired for his discovery. America has more Columbus statues and Columbus memorabilia than any other nation in the world. Columbus's discovery paved the way to British colonization and eventually to the United States.

--

Let's look back to the BOP:

Each side had to establish contentions. The round ultimately boiled down to four contentions.

1. "Failure" - Refuted, goes to CON.
2. Genocide - Refuted, goes to CON.
3. Intent - CON, See BOP, below.
4. America has long admired Columbus. Goes to CON; there's really no refuting that America admires Columbus. He discovered our continent.

BOP of PRO: The PRO had to prove malicious intent in celebrating Columbus Day. Without bad intent, there's no reason to no longer celebrate Columbus Day. Pro fails his BOP.

Thank you. Vote CON.

[1] American Heritage Dictionary - fraud.
[2] http://www.pbs.org...
[3]http://en.wikipedia.org...
[4] http://en.wikipedia.org...
[5] http://rochester.ynn.com...
Debate Round No. 3
46 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by adealornodeal 3 years ago
adealornodeal
Lol oops, Jordan signed in on my computer. But don't worry-- I know it wasn't an insult. I merely found it rude that you posted that as a direct jab at me.
Posted by negrodamus 3 years ago
negrodamus
Lol don't worry, it definitely didn't hurt my feelings and perhaps wasn't an insult, but rather a mockery of what an RFD should be.
Posted by adealornodeal 3 years ago
adealornodeal
Conduct: swearing is bad conduct, whether you think so or not. So is "facepalm", which isn't cussing, but is bad conduct.
Argument: Blankets? I have no clue what you're talking about. Judge the debate by what happened in the debate. Pro lost convincing arguments because he failed his BOP.
Sources: That's entirely up to opinion-- I believe that debaters should do the debating, but if you think otherwise that's fine.

If you'd posted your RFD instead of insulting me, I wouldn't have assumed you to be a vote-bomber and I wouldn't have counter vote-bombed. Perhaps in the future, you can try a different strategy when voting on debates.
Posted by Sawawah 3 years ago
Sawawah
@adealornodeal
Also. My first comment wasn't an insult. I wasn't out to hurt your feelings what so ever. And if it did I'm sorry, I suppose.
Posted by Sawawah 3 years ago
Sawawah
For the comment from freedo posted to me, that was my first debate, do you really expect me to know the rules? no.
My relationship with shtookah didn't effect my vote what so ever.
The reason I changed my vote, was because I voted and I put reliable sources were tied.
And I saw the comments others on the videos pro posted. And I thought YouTube videos could be more reliable. So I changed my vote.

but here since your panties are in a bunch.

Conduct: So what if pro swore. I don't think censorship is that big of a deal. Con's was more difficult to follow. so that goes to pro.
Argument: For the small pox killing the native Americans. Columbus and his people gave them blankets and clothes infested with small pox... So instantly goes to pro. Also Columbus gave native American women to his lieutenants like they're objects.
sources: Pros videos were helpful and con used wikepedia. so that goes to pro as well.

Hopeful your panties are less bunched because its ridiculous that you have to explain your vote..
Posted by adealornodeal 3 years ago
adealornodeal
It's funny-- judging by the posts on your wall, you seem to know the Pro side very well. If you hadn't vote-bombed this debate right before the voting period ended and posted an RFD instead of an insult, I wouldn't have counter vote-bombed. No one on this website appreciates a vote-bomb, and thus it is acceptable to counter-vote-bomb. No one vote-bombed in my favor, and everyone (except one) who gave me more than three points posted an RFD.

And judging by FREEDO's post on your wall, it seems that you've vote-bombed on your own debates, even after you forfeited rounds. Perhaps you should practice what you preach.
Posted by Sawawah 3 years ago
Sawawah
For some of the people that voted in favor of pro you asked for further explanation.
It's still not just for you to vote for yourself. Pro didn't.
I'm just voting in my opinion. So if you didn't pull that Bullsh-t he would have won. and if pro vote bombed himself like you did (which he had the courtesy not to) he would have won.
Posted by adealornodeal 3 years ago
adealornodeal
And if you'd read comments, I asked everyone to post RFDs, whether their vote was for me or not.
Posted by adealornodeal 3 years ago
adealornodeal
@Sawawah: You logged online 20 minutes before the voting-period ended and vote-bombed to change the sway of the debate. After seeing your reasoning, I counter-votebombed to even out the point count.
Posted by Sawawah 3 years ago
Sawawah
Why did you have such an objection for people who voted for pro, when you didn't ask people to further explain when they voted for you. seems a little biased.
And if your so big on it being fair, you aren't supposed to vote for yourself in your own debate.
19 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Vote Placed by adealornodeal 3 years ago
adealornodeal
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