A homework assignment from a young student named King is going viral after he used it to roast his teacher for claiming that Christopher Columbus ‘discovered’ North America.
The assignment, which took the form of a daily journal entry, opens with King’s childlike, but potent and unambiguous, declaration that “Today was not a good learning day.” Right to the point. The clearly frustrated kid then went on to boldly say, “Columbus didn’t find our country, the Indians did,” and that he felt no inclination to listen if the teacher was going to tell lies.
“My mom said the only Christopher we acknowledge is Wallace,” King’s journal entry continues — a nod, of course, to the late great Notorious BIG whose birth name was Christopher Wallace — before again expressing his displeasure with being taught lies. Although young King, still a kid at heart, does note that he likes having Columbus Day off. Can’t blame him there. He ends as boldly as he began but with a question to his teacher: “How can white people teach black history?”
He does make a valid point, while also highlighting another question that Americans have been grappling with since the 1970’s — ‘should we celebrate Columbus day at all?’ For many, the blind praise of a man who never even set foot on North American soil is completely ridiculous, not to mention racist. Despite the enormous backlash, in recent years some cities in Texas, Washington, New York, and California (just to name a few) have opted to replace Columbus Day with a more historically warranted celebration of “Indigenous Peoples Day.” This new holiday is meant to honor the sacrifices and contributions indigenous peoples have made towards the development of North America rather than paint them into some invisible corner so the masses can believe that natives were somehow complicit in their own subjugation.
It’s not surprising that King’s teacher was less than pleased with his assignment. He wasn’t graded but did receive a large: “King, I am very disappointed in your journal today.” He seemed to take it in stride, though, adding a snarky “ok” below the comment. Kids, of course, often say and write the darndest things and their penchant for shooting straight with the truth can sometimes make life uncomfortable. Case in point. While King may be addressing the misinformation surrounding Columbus’ apparent ‘discovery’ of the continent, it’s clear the teacher doesn’t want to.