Monday, October 08, 2012
Happy Columbus Day!
Today is the day that my paisano Christopher Columbus found America. In 1492, Columbus sailed the ocean blue. He was trying to find India by going left instead of right and ran into "The New World." And that's how we got America. At least that's what a 2nd grade text book would want you to believe. It is, of course, more complex than that. He never made it to mainland America, but he did realize there was new land in this direction.
What the bleeding hearts want you to believe is that he was a genocidal maniac who came here to introduce disease and kill Native Americans and take over. That sounds a lot like a 15th century Hitler to me. Many of these people feel so strongly about it, that they actually want to change the name of today to National Explorer Day. I'm not willing to explore that option, how about that?
I'm not naive enough to think that Christopher Columbus did nothing wrong (by today's standards). But that's the way it goes in history. He also did a lot of good.
I love how everyone that wants to do away with the day and calls him a murderer and downplays what he did and is overall against the man, are all Americans. He didn't land on what is now the mainland United States, but he wasn't trying to. He was looking for India and took a left turn instead of a right trying to go around the world and he slammed into the new world. As it turns out, it was not the east coast of this country and he wasn't the first to find it and people already lived there.
That's why people think he did nothing but kill those he found and introduced disease, but that's not true. If he didn't do what he did and popularize that path would we have seen people like Vasco de Gama, Amerigo Vespucci or even Henry Hudson? People would have found it eventually, but the timing change would have changed the course of American and, consequently, world history. He triggered a chain reaction of explorations that resulting in people complaining about him from their computers in this country. It was Columbus' four treks across the Atlantic that gave Magellan the idea to circumnavigate the globe.
We are not made up of Native Americans. We are a conglomerate of just about everything there is to be. If it wasn't for this country, there would not be the blending of cultures and ideas that there is now. No other country is as diverse as us because we are the only ones that don't truly have an indigenous culture. Even the Native Americans are believed to have roamed over here from elsewhere (one Pangean theory).
As far as the killing and butchering and mutilation that all of the perfect people who throw stones form their glass houses want to mention, let's remember that this was almost 600 years ago. People make mistakes in history. We learn from it. We evolve as a society, a culture, and a human race. There were witch hunts once, a holocaust among other genocides and we used to shock the crazy out of schizophrenics or kill them accidentally while trying. We get better at existing by learning from our mistakes not condemning those who made them.
Posted by Jason Viglione at 9:50 AM