What does your calendar say today? If you’re lucky, it still says Christopher Columbus Day only, but more likely it’s shared with “Indigenous Peoples’ Day” (IPD)–or the latter is listed alone.
In 1992, two radical college towns, Berkeley and Santa Cruz, renamed the second Monday in October as IPD. And over the last few years, hundreds of cities and states joined in the virtue signaling and began observing IPD while canceling a man who paved the way for settlement of the Americas.
In Minnesota during last summer’s riots, the Democrat governor allowed vandals to topple a 90-year-old Columbus statue — sculpted by an Italian immigrant as a symbol of acceptance — at the State Capitol.
Sculpted by an Italian immigrant who helped build Grand Central Station and his son, given as a gift during the Great Depression as a symbol of the acceptance of Italian immigrants in Minnesota. https://t.co/EviIr85fNk
— Ben Domenech (@bdomenech) June 11, 2020
“The arrival of Christopher Columbus to what is now the Americas set in motion centuries of violence and genocide against the indigenous people who already lived here,” Lieutenant Governor Peggy Flanagan ranted. “It was a constant reminder that our systems were not built by or for Native people or people of color, but in many cases, to exclude, erase and eliminate us.”
This ignorance comes from a leftwing activist raised in a wealthy Twin Cities suburb. She knows nothing. Even as a historian, I don’t know much about Columbus because there were no reporters on his voyages and thus no first-person narratives.
Revisionist historians ascribe atrocities to Columbus without any backup. The only primary source material is a letter he wrote while returning from his voyage to the new world. Now sitting inside the Vatican, it’s complimentary to the natives he encountered.
Americans need to learn from history rather than whitewash it. If we destroy the evidence, as agitators do, we eliminate future understanding. Judging past actions by contemporary moral standards is also unfair. And allowing ignoble mobs to further a political agenda by destroying state property should be impermissible. The genesis of Columbus statues emanated from a struggle against 19th-century bigotry.
As a former teacher, I recall the greeting of a colleague one Columbus Day.
“Hey, Mr. K, Happy Murdering of Indigenous People Day! I’ll tell my kids the real Columbus story today.”
In responding that I intended to teach the story of Columbus as it happened, not the Howard Zinn version, maybe I stooped to his level; but it’s difficult to be unalarmed by the anti-American revisionism taught throughout our school systems.
Many classrooms where I substitute taught during the early 2000s held polls where students voted on “who really discovered America?” I am not naive enough to believe teacher influence played no role in results showing “Chief Howling Wind” easily defeating Columbus, 168 to 2.
How different from when I was in school. Back then, we took part in essay contests about the deeds of Columbus on his voyage’s 500th anniversary. By the time I taught, however, less than a decade later, the holiday was replaced on school calendars with Cesar Chavez Day.
If nothing else, Columbus ventured where no one else would and changed the world. He brought Western civilization and Judeo-Christian values across the Atlantic and initiated a modern age.
I’ll celebrate that. We all should.