Should we stop honoring Christopher Columbus? That's what some people have said. Certain groups have called for the day to be in the future called "Indigenous People's Day." The argument points out all of the cruel treatment, enslavement, and death brought to the peoples who already inhabited the land that Columbus "discovered." He was certainly responsible for many tragic outcomes for those that he called "Indians", believing that he had arrived in the East Indies.
|US Postage stamps: Columbian issues of 1893,|
When I was a child we celebrated Christopher Columbus and his great adventure to the New World. The story was sanitized for the consumption of school children and indeed much was probably known only to history scholars. On the whole, Columbus was revered with poems, books, and artworks. Now in recent decades Columbus has been portrayed as a villain, an opportunistic European who took advantage of his conquered lands.
The way I see it is that we are dealing with history--events that cannot be changed and therefore should be accepted for what they are. We cannot fairly judge those in the past according to the standards of our time. The voyages of Columbus were amazing and courageous. Christopher Columbus set the groundwork for the settling and development of the United States of America.
I think Christopher Columbus deserves every accolade that is handed his way. Unfortunately a trend to revise history often seems to be the rule of our time. Revisionist history is one of the most deceptive and misguided movements coming out of the realms of academia. Tear down the old heroes and replace them with some ambiguous ideal standard of lifestyle that was eradicated by those evil explorers,colonizers, Founding Fathers, and many others who came before us.
Changing the players, events, and mindsets in order to create a new narrative is what it comes down to. Sounds kind of like what our media does on a regular basis. "History is written by the victors," is the oft heard claim. Perhaps now we can more appropriately say that the media are the historians of our time. This strikes me as a somewhat disturbing thought considering the questionable honesty of most media sources. Or should I say selective honesty?
Do you think that Christopher Columbus deserves to be honored? Is history being tampered with too much in order to present a more politically correct view of the past? Do you believe that media is trustworthy or does it exhibit a bias that influences many people in making important decisions like who to vote for?
Happy Columbus Day!