Columbus Day–I never found it that interesting because we never got off school for it. But it doesn’t get my panties in a bunch, either.
Indigenous Peoples’ Day–harrumph. Those peoples were most likely no more indigenous than we were, and they certainly had–at least on a smaller scale–the same impulses for conquering we Europeans had.
I know, I know, academics and “liberals” want to counteract a 1950s-style, uncritical celebration of the Nina, the Pinta, and the Santa Maria and that most-likely-tyrannical Chris Colon.
I get that.
But going around pontificating about indigenous peoples with stilted NPR-esque tones isn’t going to win many converts, either.
If you want to talk frankly about Columbus’s roughness, about the many cruel and unchristian things he seemed to do, go ahead. But don’t forget to place it in context.
All kinds of stuff sucked back then. All kinds of stuff sucks now.
He probably wasn’t a rogue evil demagogue like Hitler. The real story should always be sought after and discussed.
But don’t forget to admit that you love living here and that the U.S. has done great things with this “new” found land. Don’t pretend you would’ve absolutely known better.
Perfect? Hell no! Christopher Columbus may not be the baby that gets thrown out with the bathwater, but the events that resulted from the discovery of the Americas are certainly worth celebrating, with or without Columbus.
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