In my hometown, every year on Columbus Day communist propagandists activists from Haskell University have an anti-Christopher Columbus parade down the main drag. In the latest efforts by the Left to smear American history, Columbus has been depicted as an evil, greedy, despicable man who is personally responsible for genocide on a massive scale. Since America wouldn’t exists without the explorations of this man, he is reviled by the left as it desperately tries to portray him as the embodiment of evil.
Now, Columbus wasn’t a perfect man. He apparently had a history of drinking and gambling. Yes, he was a bit of an imperialist, but who wasn’t in 1492? But he was nowhere near as horrible as the Left portrays him. (Note the author of this piece — it should come as no surprise that Columbus is portrayed as a Nazi, and that the allusions and most of the history presented here are nonsense.)
Anthony Hager at American Thinker takes the time to dismiss another fantasy of the Left’s view of Columbus: the idea that the America were a romantic, peaceful paradise before the evil Europeans came along:
Some European explorers were brutal, and the Taino Arawak tribe suffered at Spanish hands. But to lay all violence at the feet of Columbus ignores the New World brutality that existed before his arrival.The Taino were rather passive. But the Caribs were a fierce people who abused the Tainos and took their lands before Columbus arrived. The Caribs made wives of captured Taino women (slavery, anyone?), fashioned necklaces from their vanquished enemy’s teeth and may have practiced cannibalism.The Caribs may have decimated the Ciboneys who once inhabited the Caribbean. The Ciboneys descended from a prior culture that was all but exterminated by yet another people. And if the Caribs themselves weren’t cannibals, the Tupinamba Indians were. Finally, these tribes were indigenous Caribbean Indians; they migrated from the mainland. Thus the peaceful natives Columbus assaulted were neither peaceful nor native, but warrior explorers and conquerors.Each person must render an individual judgment on history. Make what you will of Columbus and his successors. But remember that many civilizations originated in other places and expanded their holdings and influence through force. Mankind has explored, fought, conquered, settled and lost throughout world history. That reality isn’t going to change just to suit the unrealistic notions of Utopian fantasists.
Christopher Columbus is neither as pure nor as despicable as he is portrayed. He was human, a walking paradox whose life was filled with flaw and virtue, success and failure. He accomplished more than he knew while never quite realizing his dreams. Why not celebrate Christopher Columbus’ courage and contributions while learning from his faults and failures?