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Who Deserves a Holiday More than Columbus?

Jacob Plitman
October 8, 2017
by Jacob Plitman Christopher Columbus was an extremely bad guy who should not be celebrated by anyone at any time. So creating a full list of people that deserve a national holiday more than Columbus is tough, because theoretically it should include nearly every single person ever born. Like, think of everyone you know that, for example, did not encounter the friendly and giving Arawak tribe and then proceed to enslave and exterminate them. Wow, I can think of a lot of people who did not and probably would not do that! Add them to the list. So here is an incomplete list of people that should have a national holiday instead of Columbus.
  1. Indigenous Peoples
  2. Nellie Wong, Chinese-American radical, poet and socialist.
  3. My mom, an extremely nice leftist lady who once fought off a home intruder with a kitchen stool.
  4. The guy who got that loud
  5. James Baldwin.
  6. Rosa Luxemburg, murdered revolutionary labor leader.
  7. My classics professor at UNC Chapel Hill who made Herodotus not only accessible, but fun.
  8. Mickey Rooney, a famous and now deceased actor who to my knowledge never sexually assaulted anyone.
  9. Angela Davis.
  10. Henry Foner, a former labor leader and board member of this magazine.
  11. The hosts of Street Fight Radio.
  12. Carol Rama, Italian anti-fascist painter who made some really scary sex paintings you should see.
  13. Lyber Katz, z”l, longtime supporter of this magazine and translator of his father’s great account of the 1905 Revolution, The Generation that Lost Its Fear.
  14. Emmanuel Levinas, philosopher, Talmudic scholar and author of Totality and Infinity.
  15. This adorable raccoon riding a bicycle.
  16. Lois Jenson, labor leader and crusader against sexual assault at work.
  17. Sylvia Rivera, founding member of the Gay Liberation Front.
Ok so we’re ~16 people (plus a raccoon on a bicycle) closer to a full list. Please add yours in the comments. Jacob Plitman is an Associate Editor of Jewish Currents. He Tweets @jacobplitman.

Jacob Plitman was the publisher of Jewish Currents from 2017-2022, during which time he stewarded the relaunch of the magazine.