Finally, a Perfect Term for When White People “Discover” Things

Slate's Culture Blog
June 25 2014 11:13 AM

Finally, a Perfect Term for When White People “Discover” Things

Miley Cyrus performs during the 2013 MTV Video Music Awards at the Barclays Center on August 25, 2013 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City.
Here's Miley Cyrus, Columbusing.

Photo by Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic for MTV

At some point in their adolescence, most people will come to learn that the oft-taught grade school tidbit that Christopher Columbus “discovered” the Americas is, at best, a significant stretching of the truth. They’ll also soon realize that Columbus’ claim to fame is only one example in a long historical pattern of white people taking credit for uncovering “new” things that actually existed long before they were aware of them.

And so it’s only logical that someone would put two and two together and finally coin the perfect term for this infuriating habit: “Columbusing.” The folks at College Humor have created a great video to help you understand the exact way to employ it—so the next time someone credits Miley Cyrus for twerking, you’ll be ready.

Aisha Harris is a Slate staff writer.

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