Christopher Columbus – An Historical Figure

cc

I think Columbus Day is legit, and should remain as-is. Sadly, on this day over the past several years I’ve read with great interest a number of pieces about Christopher Columbus.  Until 2017 I had not read A SINGLE ONE that had anything good to say about him.  However, Michael J. Knowles of The Daily Wire wrote an excellent piece which may still be available on the Daily Wire website. It was well-researched, replete with numerous historical citations, and worth the read.  Aside from that single piece, every single one of the Columbus “lessons” that I’ve seen year after year are entirely negative, and are considerably more rhetoric- and emotionally-charged than fact-based.  This is no longer a surprise as we have come to see how the mainstream media clearly have an agenda, that being to repeatedly tarnish America.

The most mild characterization of Christopher Columbus is that he was “lost,” which in and of itself is interesting since he was sailing uncharted seas.  The most severe have likened him Hitler, Stalin, and any/all other historical figures responsible for the murder of millions.  Though I don’t know everything there is to know about the man, I am unaware of any historical evidence that points to Columbus deliberately and systematically leading concerted efforts to exterminate an entire category of human beings.  In fact, much of the historical record indicates that Columbus and his men did not engage in violence with the native inhabitants.  The carnage assigned to Columbus largely involved the settlers that followed years later.  I think it is at least fair to say that Columbus was an adventurer, a risk-taker, and an explorer.  Sadly, in today’s culture those are typically positive attributes, and as a result we rarely see any of those words used to describe Christopher Columbus.

What we do see is a recurrent theme promoted by the complicit media to do away with Columbus Day, celebrating instead, Indigenous People’s Day, which has been around since the late 70’s.  Over the past few years, a number of cities and states have removed Columbus statues, and officially replaced Columbus Day with Indigenous People’s Day.  Personally, if I were a member of the indigenous people race (provided of course we can agree on exactly WHO were the very first to get here, and also agree on just where “here” is), I would want an entirely different day.  Nobody wants a hand-me-down Holiday, anymore than they want hand-me-down underclothes.

So it would seem that every October for the foreseeable future, we are going to examine not only should we celebrate Columbus Day (if in fact taking a weekday break from personal banking and receiving mail qualifies as “celebrating”), but should we recognize or even have a Columbus Day.  Personally, I really don’t think the good citizens of Genoa, Italy care much either way.

However, at the risk of being regarded as, at the very least, politically incorrect, and at worst, culturally insensitive and even shamefully racist, I firmly believe that if we as a society do in fact choose to move in a direction to rid ourselves of any recognition of Columbus Day, then let’s be sure we examine ALL of the pertinent evidence in order to be historically thorough and honest.

While the “Indigenous” people were, in many respects very different from the people from Europe and elsewhere, they were also much like humans everywhere.  There is substantial and irrefutable historical evidence that early residents of our continent waged war upon each other.  They attacked strangers without warning, and often viewed any form of mercy with contempt.  They killed and enslaved those they believed to be lesser-than.  Warring tribes killed enemy tribes’ women and children. Again, the evidence for this is overwhelming, and undeniable.

In other words, in addition to embodying numerous admirable traits, they too were human, and not without their own set of behaviors that so many today decry as reprehensible and inexcusable.  Make no mistake, there was indeed a significant amount of despicable behavior and violence present on this continent long before the arrival of the “white man.”  Given our increasing societal refusal to promote anything that has any historical distaste, one would think there would be massive protests against Indigenous People’s Day.

There is almost always some value, and perhaps even on occasion, honor in recognizing all of the history and cultures that have been part of creating what we now all call home, provided we do so in an intellectually honest manner.  Virtually every culture has admirable traits which we all might benefit from embracing, just as all cultures have their less-than-desirable elements.  We can learn from each, embracing and discarding accordingly.  But let’s not embark on any initiative under the premise that ANY culture (Indigenous or otherwise) is entirely superior to any other, anymore than ANY culture (Columbus-era or otherwise) should be ignored or abandoned simply because it makes some of us “feel” better.