Columbus Day is one of those “holidays” that really isn’t a holiday in any meaningful sense of the word. Sure, federal workers and state workers get the day off — they get every holiday off, without fail — and so do bank employees. For the rest of us working stiffs, however, Columbus Day is just another day to slog into the office and briefly wonder why that the flow of rush hour traffic is lighter than on the average work day.
And these days many people don’t care much for Christopher Columbus, either. Admiral of the Ocean Sea, persuader of Ferdinand and Isabella, intrepid explorer — forget all that stuff we learned in grade school! Now we hear that Columbus brought disease and slavery to the New World and is viewed as standing for colonialism, cultural insensitivity, and a Eurocentric vision of the world. That’s why some people insist, instead, on celebrating Indigenous People’s Day.
Poor old Chris and his lame holiday are taking a beating from every quarter — which is why I got a chuckle out of the story sent along by the Friendly Doc Next Door, about an Ann Arbor, Michigan bank that announced that it wasn’t celebrating Columbus Day because Columbus, after all, is a city in Ohio. Why not? College football’s greatest rivalry is as good a reason as any to not recognize a federal holiday that is a “holiday” in name only. When Arbor Day rolls around, we here in Ohio will retaliate by not celebrating it, either.