Our family loves Build-a-Bear products, and since their inclusion of My Little Pony characters, I can honestly state that the whole household likes them (my partner adores his giant Fluttershy doll). But today I received an email glorifying a horrible person, a person we don’t celebrate in our home or in our region. Columbus, long-touted a hero by white history, isn’t someone we think deserves a holiday or celebration, yet Build-a-Bear does.
The following is the letter I sent to GuestServices@buildabear.com:
To Build-a-Bear Staff,
I just received this appalling email asking me to celebrate a man who committed acts of genocide, and to do so with my children, no less.
In 2015, when we have a clear understanding of what Columbus and his men did to the indigenous people of the Americas, when my hometown now recognizes “Indigenous People Day” rather than celebrating the heinous acts of a monster who slaughtered, enslaved, and tortured nearly a million people, I would think a company catering to the imagination of children wouldn’t glorify such a person.
Until the items associated with Columbus and his deeds are stripped from your stores, and a public apology offered, neither my family nor my friends will be shopping your stores.
Raven J. Demers
I’m certain there are plenty of people in the U.S. who don’t share my opinion about the matter, who choose to ignore the well-documented atrocities committed by Columbus upon the Arawak people. But if you share the view that such an historical figure should not be elevated to the status of a hero, please write a letter or call Build-a-Bear to let them know.