Eagle Forum Legislative Alerts

Monday, October 14, 2013

Let's Ignore Attacks on Columbus

Those of us who know our history know that today is Columbus Day. You may be surprised to learn that the Left is trying to make Christopher Columbus disappear from our history books and from our memory. The Left is trying to rename the second Monday in October "Indigenous People Day." In many schools today, Columbus is described as a malicious destroyer of Indians. He is blamed for a smallpox epidemic and for bringing slavery to the Americas. Sometimes, his arrival in the Western Hemisphere is even described as genocide. Some sanctimonious liberals even take offense when we say "Columbus discovered America" since thousands of people were already living here.

All this is either total nonsense or extreme political correctness. The smallpox epidemic that killed so many Indians was tragic but unavoidable. They had no immunity to the disease, so the only way to avoid an epidemic would have been for the two civilizations never to meet. That was neither desirable nor possible. Columbus is not responsible for introducing slavery to America. Slavery was already alive and well among native groups. We all know that Columbus was not the first human to set foot in the Western Hemisphere, but opening it to the European Continent was a really big deal and a huge turning point in history.

The slander that is heaped on Columbus by the leftwing is unhealthy for us as a nation. Columbus's voyage across the Atlantic Ocean is the point where our identity and history began. The expansion from Europe into the New World paved the way for democratic self-government. Columbus himself was an innovative, independent, forward-thinking and enterprising risk-taker. Of course he knew the world was round and he set out to prove it. That's the kind of character that built America and the kind of character we can't afford to forget. I think it's great that we honor Columbus with a national holiday.

Listen to the radio commentary here:

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