What would you say about me if I claimed to invent the television even though I'm only thirty three years old and you or your family have already had one for years? What would you think of me if I told you I'm coming to your house and that you needed to move out or else? If I was responsible for going to your job and destroying everything you worked on and worked for then up and decided it all belonged to me?
What If I next brought in my own folks to claim rooms in your house? You would think I was crazy and definitely not think highly of me. So if everything I just talked about is wrong and unethical and doesn't deserve praise, then why do folks praise Christopher Columbus and celebrate Columbus day? In America we are all taught the story of how he sailed across the seas on behalf of the Spanish Queen Isabella with the Nina, Pinta, and Santa Maria and discovered the America's.
We grow up with the allusion that he was a nautical genius, which couldn't be further from the truth. As a matter of fact Columbus got lost, why do you think the West indies is called the West Indies, or Native Americans were called Indians?
It's because Columbus was looking for a route to India and thought he stumbled upon India when in fact he landed on the shores of the Americas. News flash, the guy came to the wrong place! And how do you discover a land that is already inhabited? Native Americans inhabited the Americas for hundreds of years before Columbus made land fall but we act as if he was their saving grace and that they, nor their history would exist without him coming to America.
We don't even teach the true ethnicity of Columbus. For starters he was Italian, and I believe that he in fact may have originated from Genoa. As I alluded to before, he was contracted by the Spanish queen to make an excursion finding new trade routes for spices and somehow the school systems translate that entire story into a Spanish sailor bravely sailing the seas to discover a new land.
No, Columbus was a lost Italian sailor who needed to catch a break financially, so he took a job on behalf of the queen and stumbled upon a land inhabited by a noble people who he proceeded to be peacful with until he no longer felt the need for them and then began killing them off. And whatever he and the spanish army couldn't kill off, the diseases that they brought from Europe that Native Americans had no natural immunity or antibodies to defend themselves against, finished the job.
That's a lot different from the story that is told to celebrate him and what's taught in school. That's the thing about history, if you aren't telling the complete truth, you're basically telling a lie. That lie can lead to a drastic turn of events that will have you look at an entire culture or person in a completely different manner. Is he an important part of history? Yes he is.
But when you tell the truth, you don't glorify or demonize, you just give facts. We are simply glorifying him because we refuse to give the facts about him. As Americans we refuse to tell our history in a manner that isn't filled with glory, honor, and purity. So as you may have guessed, I don't celebrate Columbus day. I dont celebrate the taking of land and killing of noble people who were already here and claiming someone else discovered the lands Native Americans roamed and cultivated.
I do recognize his role in history as someone who helped open up the Americas to Europe. I make it a point to know the truth about all major historical events. So before you praise him, ask yourself would you praise anyone who stepped into your home by mistake, claiming it as their own out of greed, and harming your family with complete indifference.