Sunday, October 23, 2022

Christopher Columbus - Evil Man?

We just celebrated Christopher Columbus Day or as it’s been refined as Indigenous People Day a couple of weeks ago. 

The story goes that the celebration should be more for the Indian’s who Christopher encountered on his first visit to the America’s and for that matter, all indigenous should thus be recognized. Christopher Columbus has been downgraded to a racist, who abused the natives and proposed these people would be ripe for enslavement. Christopher, they say is a very evil person who got lost at sea and accidently found America.

Most of us, who are older than Sponge Bob, have heard the story of Christopher Columbus something like this.

Columbus while I was growing up, was always portrayed as an explorer who journeyed the unexplored reaches of the globe in search for a path to the East Coast of Europe and specifically to establish a new trade route to counter the land Silk Route. Where did this evidence of the abuses of Columbus originate from? Where is the proof of his evilness?

This same story is still being told today starting in elementary school only it has become with a little more emphasis on the evilness.

Last year I had a conversation with a young man of 11 years about his schooling, his favorite subjects, the usual probes to initiate conversation from a 6th grader. He’s a pretty bright boy and schooling comes easy to him; he is very inquisitive, and he expresses himself above the average. The topic of history came up, one of his favorite subjects. Christopher Columbus came up somehow and we discussed a little about the travels and discoveries of this explorer. He reiterated the brief history lesson of his class, even the defacing of the Columbus statues in various states. I asked him how he felt about that, in which he replied, “Columbus was an evil man who did evil things.” I was quite taken back. “Why do you believe that?” I asked.

He explained how Columbus, pillaged, abused the natives, and used them as slaves. “The teacher says there is proof.” This is what is being taught in the public school he attends. Wow…

This is my grandson.

Well, I didn’t have a full answer to his revelations. While the story of Christopher was that he kind of found America by accident, and that he did bring disease to the Indian tribes, this “evil man” theory was obviously not the history taught to most of us in 6th grade. So, this was something that I couldn’t let go. I started to do some research as to where this revelation of “evil Columbus” originated from. Names like Hans Koning (Columbus: His Enterprise: Exploding the Myth), and Howard Zinn (A People’s History of the United States) came up. This began my mini probe into Mr. Zinn and his philosophy and political beliefs, one of the sources of this history revisionist stories of Columbus. A sources of my critique of Mr. Zinn, who does hold the view of an “evil Columbus” is in a book by Mary Grabar (Debunking Howard Zinn – Exposing the Fake History that Turned a Generation against America, by Mary Grabar, Regnery History 2019, chapt 1)

I won’t go into what my findings are on Howard Zinn, nor I’m I saying Mr. Zinn is an “evil person” himself, only that he distorts the history of the leader of the Santa Maria, the Nina, and Pinta. Mr. Zinn has every right to express whatever ideas and philosophy he wants. I only I needed to have a response to my grandson that wasn’t as bias as his original lesson on Columbus. He needed to hear some rational opposing viewpoints. Here’s a lecture that Ms. Grabar gave at a 2022 Columbus Day event.

I found plenty of Christopher bashing video’s on YouTube that repeated the same derogatory remarks, but I did manage to find this one that at least attempted to be objective.

It’s easy to take passed events and filter them through contemporary standards. If we’re honest current standards are not all that civilized at all (Abortions, gender LGQBxyz, sex trafficking). The 20th century is one of the most violent.

All I’m after is the truth, wherever that leads. 

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