To even attempt to impose a 21st Century morality on a 15th Century historical figure is patently absurd. – Jeff Ward
The agita that inevitably arises whenever Columbus Day rolls around only proves that some of you people have way too much time on your hands. C’mon! If progressives truly want to make this planet a better place then why waste a second of time on a 15th Century explorer?
The truth is few historical figures could withstand the kind of scrutiny Columbus is currently enduring – more than 500 long years after his death.
JFK was a resolute womanizer, Lincoln was a renowned racist, Ghandi considered himself above the morality he preached, Mother Theresa believed poor people should suffer, Aristotle considered women to be vastly inferior species, Che Guevara reveled in the bloodshed he inspired, John Lennon physically abused women and his son, and before he was expelled from Tibet, the Dalai Lama was catered to by slaves.
Martin Luther King, one of America’s most revered icons, plagiarized a great deal of his doctoral thesis and engaged in affairs with more than 40 women. But despite those tragic flaws, each and every one of those individuals went on to accomplish a great deal of good.
Ironically, the worst that can be said about Columbus is, like the rest of us, he was a product of his time. He was born during the end of the Hundred Years War which claimed three million European lives. Given the number of casualties, the number of countries involved, and the scorched earth policies on all sides, some historians say that conflict was the actually the first world war.
In addition, just a scant century earlier the Black Plague killed one out of three or 25 million Europeans and it lingered on in their cities for centuries.
So, to say that Columbus lived in a time of total war, famine, and pestilence would be the mildest of understatements. The deleterious consequences of one million European COVID deaths and 750,000 here pale in comparison to the psychological fallout from that kind of interminable warfare and the worst pandemic humanity has ever endured.
But the vast irony is, even if Columbus somehow knew better, it wouldn’t have changed a damn thing! Ninety percent of the ensuing Native American deaths came at the hands of smallpox and other diseases to which they had no immunity. So, even if east and west met on the best of 16th Century terms, the difference in the amount of Native American deaths would’ve been negligible.
Yet, it would seem that progressives somehow believe that white folks should’ve been prescient enough to wait ‘til the appropriate vaccines were developed before crossing the Atlantic. We didn’t even realize that germs caused disease until Antoni van Leeuwenhoek discovered bacteria in 1697.
And don’t even get me started on “Indigenous People’s Day!”
First, I can’t begin to understand the kind of magical thinking that somehow makes liberals believe that wiping out one holiday and replacing it with another will begin to mitigate the rampant alcoholism and poverty plaguing most Native American reservations.
“Indigenous People’s Day” is literally the least we could do!
Worse yet, this progressive fantasy that Native Americans lived in some sort of glorious pre-Caucasian utopia is patently absurd. The Iroquois Confederacy, the Ojibwa, and particularly the Aztecs, were just as bloodthirsty and imperialistic as any European nation.
Though white progressives clearly regret not being one, there is nothing inherently admirable about being a Native American, or any other minority for that matter. Didn’t someone once say something about being judged on the content of your character?
Since the Cancel Culture can’t change history despite their best efforts, I choose to view Columbus Day as a celebration of the spirit of courage, dedication to an idea, and exploration. Whatever Christopher Columbus was or wasn’t, it was an incredible feat to sail three small wooden sailing ships across the dangerous Atlantic Ocean against the prevailing west winds in the 15th Century.
Think about it! He travelled over 5,000 miles in a ship (the Santa Maria) a mere 70 feet long. For comparison purposes, today’s cruise ships average 1,000 feet in length!
Aside from the whole exploration thing, Columbus Day is also the perfect opportunity for Italian Americans to celebrate their “were-not-just-the-Mafia” heritage, and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that.
But no! Progressives won’t be happy until they, literally, whitewash history, which ironically, would doom us to repeat the very same mistakes. As The Boss once said, I choose to “Trust the Art and Not the Artist” which isn’t a bad mien when you consider that we’re all kinda flawed.
The bottom line? No “hero” can withstand the withering gaze of the Cancel Culture so stop listening to them!
If progressives truly want to demonstrate their sincerity about redressing the wrongs foisted upon Native Americans, and since Indigenous People’s Day isn’t nearly enough, here’s my final thought! Everyone within the sound of my voice is living on land long since ceded to the Pottawatomie tribe by treaty, so in a sign of that good faith, simply sign your home and property over to those tribal elders.
Because if you’re not willing to take that bold step, then you really have no right to bitch about Columbus, do you?
Here’s to the spirit of courage, dedication to an idea, and exploration celebrated every early October. Sail on Chris!