Imagine moving into a neighborhood and living next door to a fella named John Wayne Gacy. You start to meet people and everyone says that John is a great guy, a solid pillar of the neighborhood. You meet John, and after time, have a few BBQs with him. He plays a clown at your kid’s birthday party. You really like John!
But then one day while walking out, you notice that police cars have surrounded John Wayne Gacy’s house. You also notice that dead bodies are being pulled from the basement. You find out that John was a mass murdering psychopath. So here’s the question. Do you keep liking John? Or is the whole mass murder thing a deal breaker for you? Did that cross the line?
Common sense tells us the obvious, you’re not going to keep liking John Wayne Gacy after you find out who he really was. I see Christopher Columbus the same way. I used to like him! In grade and high school I learned about 1492, his great discovery of America, the kind and generous natives that helped him fix one of his boats. And Columbus discovered that the earth was round!
But then after reading “Lies My Teacher Told Me” by historian James Loewen I found out, as Paul Harvey would say, the rest of the story. Christopher Columbus was a mass murdering psychopath. He inflicted gut-wrenching suffering and death on a large population of people. And even the round earth thing was a scam!
For years I’ve been denouncing the celebration of Columbus Day. I’ve been called a liberal, progressive, leftist, and revisionist by doing so. If by revisionist I’m someone who believes a history book of lies or suppression of the truth should be replaced by a history book of the truth then fine, call me what you will. I am on the side of truth, even when it’s uncomfortable.
I used to like someone, then after finding out they were a mass murdering psychopath, I didn’t like them anymore. For some reason, I just don’t see this as a radical extremist position to take.
How do we put who Columbus was in perspective? Let’s suppose you went to a place where everyone was peaceful, kind, and generous. What would your thoughts be? How do you think you should treat them in return? Perhaps you’d think about the Golden Rule in the Bible. Treat others like you’d want to be treated. Earlier in history, Confucius said don’t do to other what you wouldn’t want done to yourself.
They were kind and generous to me, I will be kind and generous to them. This is what a good person would do.
How did Columbus assess the situation? As an opportunity for exploitation. We know this through Columbus’s own writing. These people are so peaceful, kind, and generous, with fifty armed soldiers I could subjugate them to my every whim. In 1493, Columbus didn’t return with 50 armed soldiers, he came with 1,200.
Steel, cross-bows, cannons, vicious attack dogs unleashed on a naked and defenseless people. How do you get people to do your will? Ask one of them to do something, and when they refuse, hold them down and cut their nose off. Or maybe cut their ears off. And then everyone will know what happens if they don’t follow your commands.
The torture, rape, and carnage of the Native Americans is gut-wrenching. The excuses made to keep herofying Columbus are beyond the pale.
Of all the ridiculous excuses to keep celebrating Columbus, the notion that we can’t use “modern moral reasoning” to judge people in the past has to be the most absurd. When has this excuse been used for any other monster in history? I was reading about the horrible things Caligula did, but I don’t want to judge him because of my modern moral standards. Genghis Khan sure did slaughter a whole lot of people, but we can’t judge!
So basically the idea is that everyone 500 years ago were really stupid. They had no idea that murder and rape was a bad thing. How insulting! There have always been good people. Christopher Columbus didn’t sail with philosophers and scientists. He didn’t sail with the best of mankind. He sailed with criminals, he sailed with the worst.
Christopher Columbus was a founder of the United States of America
There are more years between Columbus and the Founding Fathers than the Founding Fathers and us. The history of the USA begins with Captain John Smith and the Mayflower expedition. This started in Plymouth, Massachusetts in 1620, over a hundred years after Columbus.
Over 150 years later would come the Declaration of Independence, United States Constitution, and the Bill of Rights. Instead of a monarchy, the Founding Fathers created a Republic.
Three branches of government to provide a separation of powers, a constitution that begins with “We the People,” individual rights and liberties including freedom of speech, freedom of religion, and freedom to peacefully assemble. What did Columbus do that comes remotely close to being in the same ballpark as that? Nothing. There is no reason to celebrate this man.
And the Founding Fathers didn’t fight against a naked and defenseless people. They fought against people who were just as well armed, if not more so, than they were. It took eight years to defeat England, and that was only possible with the help of the French.
Italian Immigrants Needed Columbus
Italian Americans will often argue that Italian immigrants weren’t treated right and needed Columbus to latch onto as a hero. Columbus may have been Italian, but he wasn’t working for Italy, he was working for Spain. Italians had the sense to tell Columbus to get lost.
The reason Italians thought of Columbus as a hero was due to fallacious propaganda. Now that we know the truth, why continue with the lie? If Italian immigrants were told the truth, would they have latched on? Would they have told their children to heroify a monster? Sorry kids, our history and ancestry is so bad, a mass murdering psychopath is the best that we could do.
Dear Italian Americans, there was this fella named Galileo. Ring a bell? Forget about a land mass on a planet, his discoveries extended to the entire universe. Dump the psychopath and go with the scientist.
In New York there is a large elevated statue of Columbus. Take it down. If Italian Americans get upset, tell them not to worry. We’ll be putting up a statue of Galileo. You folks are getting an upgrade. With Galileo you can tell the history. You don’t have to suppress the truth, you don’t have to lie.
What an amazing upgrade that would be for our country. A brilliant scientist we can truly celebrate. And someone who didn’t torture and kill people which is kind of a big plus when picking a hero.
For the organization called The Knights of Columbus, change your name to The Knights of Galileo. Dump the mass murdering psychopath and celebrate the brilliant scientist. That would be a magnificent upgrade that is long past due.
-James Kirk Wall
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