1492 Columbus sailed the ocean blue……
In 14 hundred and 92, Columbus sailed the ocean blue…..
So the poem that describes Christopher Columbus’ journey begins. I leaned that poem in elementary school, when we were also taught that Columbus was looking for an alternative trade route to India, but instead discovered a new continent.
Recently, I had a chance to celebrate Columbus Day with friends at a delicious lunch hosted by the Christopher Columbus Society in downtown San Antonio.
Columbus Day was, and remains, a big deal in my native New York, as well as much of the Northeast. It is a source of pride to millions of Americans of Italian ancestry that the Italian Columbus, though he sailed for Spain, discovered the New World, and that eventually our nation would be named for another Italian explorer, Amerigo Vespucci. It seemed like every town in the area I grew up in had a school named after Columbus.
In 1892, President Benjamin Harrison signed a proclamation celebrating the 400th anniversary of the discovery of America, calling for a general holiday so that Americans could “cease from toil and devote themselves to exercises that best honor the discover and the appreciation of the great achievements of four completed centuries of American life.”
The proclamation stated that “Columbus stood in his age as the pioneer of progress and enlightenment. In the churches and in the other places of assembly of the people let there be expressions of gratitude to Divine Providence for the devout faith of the discoverer and for the divine care and guidance which has directed our history and so abundantly blessed our people.”
1937, President Franklin D. Roosevelt proclaimed Columbus Day a national holiday, largely a result of intense lobbying by the Knights of Columbus, an influential Catholic fraternal organization. Previously, honoring Columbus had drawn opposition from racist groups such as the KKK due to their view that Southern European immigrants were of inferior stock and an anathema to the USA. Roosevelt, ever the politician, was courting the increasing impact of Catholics and those of Italian heritage who were starting to make their presence felt at the polls.
So how is it that over 500 years after Columbus discovered America, leftists consider him a murderer, slave trader, and rapist? Yet, they provide no proof.
Never missing a chance to berate American traditions, the far left is behind the effort to discredit Columbus. Some leftist cities have decided that Columbus Day should be renamed “Indigenous People’s Day.” You may ask why they are doing so.
There are several main reasons for the left’s actions. Columbus ultimately paved the way for more global trade, a key component of capitalism. Since much of today’s left prefers socialism and Marxism over capitalism, this contribution of Columbus alone is enough to make him persona non-grata.
Secondly, an element of Columbus’ journey was evangelical in nature. He clearly indicated a desire to spread Christianity. As much of today’s left is either religiously non-observant, agnostic, or atheist, this presents another reason to belittle Columbus.
Far-left historian Howard Zinn, a total apologist for Marxism, not only maligned Columbus, but attacked the larger migration from the Old World to the New World that he ushered in. According to Zinn, it wasn’t just Columbus who was a monster, it was the driving ethos of the civilization that ultimately developed in the wake of his discovery, the United States of America. “Behind the English invasion of North America, behind their massacre of Indians, their deception, their brutality, was the powerful drive born in civilizations based on private profit.”
So there you have it. The Marxist Howard Zinn hated America, and Columbus was a convenient person to bludgeon and discredit. And many American liberals are buying into this unfounded garbage,
It’s not as if prior to Europeans migrating to America, that native Indian tribes were all sitting around the campfire smoking the peace pipe in complete love and brotherhood. In his book, “Cannibalism, Headhunting, and Human Sacrifice in North America”, author George Franklin Feldman wrote, “Long before the white European knew a North American continent existed, Indians of the Northern Plains were massacring entire villages.” According to “Slavery and Native Americans in British North America and the USA: 1600 to 1865,” by Tony Seybert, “Most Native American tribal groups practiced some form of slavery before the European (aided and abetted by West African blacks) introduction of African slavery into North America.”
We have come to expect insidious and evil behavior by the far left Antifa and supporters such as George Soros, who was wined and dined at the White House at least 85 times during the Obama years. But I am dismayed at the silence of many mainstream liberal and Democratic Party politicians in the wake of this anti-Columbus vitriol.
Maybe they choose not to stand up to proponents of political correctness as there are few votes to be gained. The vast majority of the 20 million Americans who claim Italian ancestry are firmly in the middle class, with most of the neighborhoods where they predominate in the Northeast generally voting pretty heavily Republican. Why cater to people who have supported the GOP from Reagan to Trump when you can continue to accumulate votes by dividing America into groups of demons and victims, who the left feels are only capable of surviving by the support of guilt ridden liberals.
I think a day honoring Columbus is worthy, as it celebrates the first step in the founding of our nation. Since the days of Columbus, migration to America from all corners of the world, of all creeds, ethnicities, and races has been unceasing, as people seek opportunity and peace. That is something we should celebrate, not condemn.
Written by Rich Sena
First posted by the Boerne Star