Columbus Day has long stirred controversy in schools and local communities.
However, one little Chicago boy’s strong opinion on the holiday has taken the internet by storm after he penned a hilarious retort to his teacher’s lesson on the historical day, that has gone viral for the young pupil’s critique of the lesson which depicted Columbus as the founder of America.
King Johnson, 8, took to his journal to share his vexed thoughts on his teacher’s Columbus Day lesson, in which he was taught that the Spanish voyager discovered America, erasing the history of the indigenous peoples of the land.
Heart-felt letter: Little King Johnson from Chicago wrote a journal entry sharing his negative thoughts about his teacher’s Christopher Columbus lesson, saying she was spewing ‘lies’
Friend or foe? The young pupil’s comments revealed to him, the Spanish voyager was no hero
He honestly opened his letter saying his day had gone rather poorly.
‘Today was not a good learning day. I only wanted to hear you not talking. You said something wrong and I can’t listen when I hear lies,’ little King wrote.
‘My mom said that the only Christopher we acknowledge is Wallace (sic),’ he continued copying a lyric from rapper Jay-Z’s song Oceans, which references the extent to which American history is re-written.
‘Because Columbus didn’t find our country the Indians did. I like to have Columbus Day off but I want you to not teach me lies. That is all,’ King continued in his journal entry.
‘My question for the day is how can white people teach black history?’ he added as a closing statement.
The note has stirred a wildfire online with many applauding the youngster’s strong voice and knowledge.
But it didn’t fare so well with the teacher who commented, ‘King I am very disappointed in your journal today.’
To which the little one wrote ‘OK’ under as a response to his teacher’s harsh words.
King’s mom Robin Johnson shared with the Huffington Post that she’s proud of her young son.
‘I always use every moment as a teaching moment. His first day off of school for Columbus Day, I decided to talk to him and his siblings about it because he asked why they didn’t have to attend school,’ she said.
King said to the Huffington Post that he wrote the journal because he dislikes the ‘dark side’ of a person that is revealed when they lie.
‘It’s important to tell the truth because the world should be full of trust and love,’ he said.
The post has been shared over 70,000 times on Twitter and over 146,000 times on Facebook.
Cracking up: Social media fans spiraled into a frenzy over the little’s one’s poignant words
Inspired: Included in his journal entry, he shared lyrics from Jay-Z’s song Ocean, which describes how society has rewritten American history
Speak the truth! Fans applauded the eight-year-old’s wit which preferred truthful teaching to a vacation day saying, ‘I like to have Columbus Day off but I want you to not teach me lies’
A guiding hand: Many social media users were quick to criticize the teacher for their lack of understanding and compassion towards the child’s thoughts
Fans were left in stitches over his poignant words and were quick to leave their praising comments, and note the lack of support of his teacher for his original thought.
One user Laura J Mixen wrote: ‘King Johnson on Columbus Day. I love that little “OK” after his teacher’s scolding response. He’s not having one minute of it.’
User Alamin Yohannes shared he was left in stitches of the Jay-Z reference: ‘”My mom said that the only Christopher we acknowledge is Wallace” and “I want you to not teach me lies” took me out.’
Another Twitter fan wrote: ‘I’m so proud if HIM! He listened to his mama, stood up for himself, spoke his truth and made a valid point none of my white teachers gave me anything substantial about black history & after elementary school the history teachers didn’t teach it the English teachers did (they were black) (sic).’
One user was stirred by the teacher’s lack of compassion for the child’s words.
‘Who the hell is this teacher to be “disappointed” with this child’s journal? Aside from the fact that he’s completely right, the whole point in journalling is to capture your own thoughts. How can someone else even judge that?’ a user named Rebecca wrote.
Seems that for this pupil the childhood rhyme of 1492 Columbus sailed the ocean blue, wasn’t enough to settle his young truth-seeking mind.