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Columbusing is an Internet slang term used to describe the act of white people appropriating non-white culture for themselves without recognizing its true origins. The term is named after the Italian explorer Christopher Columbus, who was credited with discovering the Americas while it was already inhabited by indigenous people.
On June 23rd, 2014, CollegeHumor released a sketch comedy film titled “Colmbusing: Discovering Things for White People,” in which a man explains how the term “Columbusing” is used to describe white people discovering existing trends as if they were new (shown below).
On the following day, the video was highlighted on The Huffington Post, where it received over 40,000 Facebook likes in the next two weeks. On June 25th, 2014, the women’s interest site Jezebel published an article praising the video for calling out cultural appropriation. On July 6th, NPR published an article titled “Columbusing: The Art of Discovering Something That is Not New,” which cited a BuzzFeed article referring to empanada baked pastries as “hand pies” as an example of Columbusing. The following day, the Internet news site UpRoxx highlighted the CollegeHumor video.
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