In my daily news feeds I get all manner of information and articles. One that came to my attention Monday was of a guy maligning Columbus and taking the position that there should not be a holiday to celebrate such a dastardly man. The main thrust of the argument was that the Indians, or indigenous tribes, were peaceful and kind, sort of like a Disney movie, and the evil Europeans were thieves and murderers. To anyone who has actually studied history with an open mind and detached point of view appropriate to the social norms of the era, that argument is like the one decrying the evil European Crusades into the land of the peaceful and kind Saracens.
Indian tribes raided and fought each other routinely as did all primitive communities since the dawn of man. Not in as organized a manner as the Europeans, but that was due to civilization disparities and not because the Europeans brought greed, lust, envy, and selfishness into the garden of Eden. There is no written history of the Caribbean and North American tribes, nor did they build monuments and cities to be excavated. But they did do so in Mexico, Latin, and South America. And any study of the preeminent cultures when the Europeans arrived, the Inca and the Aztecs, reveals that they did not arrive at prominence via kindness, social programs for the poor, nor developing the fine art of getting along with everyone. No, they arrived at their place by doing the same thing the Europeans did. They took advantage of their numbers and superior technology to wage and win wars against those whom they could defeat. The Spanish, unlike the Aztecs however, did not sacrifice and then eat their captured prisoners.
Yes, we know Columbus was not the first European to arrive ... that probably goes to some red bearded Viking from Iceland whose name was lost to history and whose life was probably lost in a fight with those kind and peaceful Skraeglings (Viking name for the natives in the northeast) they ran into. Nonetheless, I like Columbus. He was a proper pirate, and research shows he was actually a Jew seeking a place for his people to flee the Spanish oppression of the time. To think all the indigenous tribes in the Americas were peaceful and considerate is as foolish as voting for Obama third time. They raided each other, killed each other and yes...enslaved each other. That is reality.
Can't blame old Chris for taking advantage of events...everyone else did...and all of us would have as well in that day, and under those conditions. If we are to eliminate Columbus Day as a holiday, we should also reconsider President's Day (when was the last time a President did anything for any of us?), Labor Day (A day for the "Labor party" seems so, well....communist), and I am sure there are a few others we could look at.
Bottom line, those who forget history shouldn't comment on it because as the sage once said, "It is better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak and remove all doubt".