Should We Deep-Six Columbus Day?

Dec 2015
13,281
12,128
Arizona
#1
Was Chris Columbus a hero or a villain? A saint or a sinner? A brilliant explorer or lost in space?
On the second Monday of October each year, millions of Americans celebrate Columbus Day, one of just two federal holidays named for specific men. The tale of Christopher Columbus, the legendary Genoese explorer, and navigator has been retold and rewritten many times. To some, he was an intrepid explorer, following his instincts to a New World. To others, he was a monster, a slave trader who unleashed the horrors of the conquest on unsuspecting natives. What are the facts about Christopher Columbus?

The Myth of Christopher Columbus
Schoolchildren are taught that Christopher Columbus wanted to find America, or in some cases that he wanted to prove that the world was round. He convinced Queen Isabela of Spain to finance the journey, and she sold her personal jewelry to do so. He bravely headed west and found the Americas and Caribbean, making friends with natives along the way. He returned to Spain in glory, having discovered the New World.

What's wrong with this story? Quite a bit, actually.

Myth #1: Columbus Wanted to Prove the World Was Not Flat (Pay attention WingDingers!)
The theory that the earth was flat and it was possible to sail off the edge of it was common in the Middle Ages, but had been discredited by Columbus' time. His first New World journey did help fix one common mistake, however. It proved that the earth was much larger than people had previously thought.

Myth #2: Columbus Persuaded Queen Isabela to Sell Her Jewels to Finance the Trip
He didn't need to. Isabela and her husband Ferdinand, fresh from the conquest of Moorish kingdoms in the south of Spain, had more than enough money to send a crackpot like Columbus sailing off to the west in three second-rate ships. He had tried to get financing from other kingdoms like England and Portugal, with no success.

Myth #3: He Made Friends With the Natives He Met
The Europeans, with ships, guns, fancy clothes, and shiny trinkets, made quite an impression on the tribes of the Caribbean, whose technology was far behind that of Europe. Columbus made a good impression when he wanted to. For example, he made friends with a local chieftain on the Island of Hispaniola named Guacanagari because he needed to leave some of his men behind.

But Columbus also captured other natives for use as slaves.

Myth #4: He Returned to Spain in Glory, Having Discovered the Americas
Again, this one is half-true. At first, most observers in Spain considered his first voyage a total fiasco. He had not found a new trade route and the most valuable of his three ships, the Santa Maria, had sunk. Later, when people began to realize that the lands he had found were previously unknown, his stature grew and he was able to get funding for a second, much larger voyage of exploration and colonization.

Christopher Columbus: Hero or Villain?
Since his death in 1506, Columbus’ life story has undergone many revisions. He is vilified by indigenous rights groups, yet was once seriously considered for sainthood. What’s the real scoop?

Columbus was neither a monster nor a saint. He had some admirable qualities and some very negative ones. He was not a bad or evil man, simply a skilled sailor, and navigator who was also an opportunist and a product of his time.

Read more here: Do You Know the Truth About Christopher Columbus?

Maybe it's time to say goodbye to Columbus Day---sad but true.
 
Mar 2013
8,370
9,016
Middle Tennessee
#2
How about we drop Columbus day since there's evidence the Norse had already discovered America and make ELECTION day a NATIONAL HOLIDAY ????
 
Likes: imaginethat
Apr 2013
34,337
23,186
Left coast
#3
I'm against retroactively deciding that people who lived in very different times with very different educations and upbringings being judged by today's standards. I think it's wrong to criticise Columbus the way he often is. I think it was wrong for the social media to jump all over the astronaut for quoting Churchill.

I held the same opinion about statues glorifying Southern Soldiers of the civil war until I found out that many of them were in fact created and installed in response to the civil rights movement of the 60's. That made it different IMO.
 
Dec 2015
13,281
12,128
Arizona
#5
I'm against retroactively deciding that people who lived in very different times with very different educations and upbringings being judged by today's standards. I think it's wrong to criticise Columbus the way he often is. I think it was wrong for the social media to jump all over the astronaut for quoting Churchill.

I held the same opinion about statues glorifying Southern Soldiers of the civil war until I found out that many of them were in fact created and installed in response to the civil rights movement of the 60's. That made it different IMO.

The myths about Columbus have been so stretched. I don't think very many Americans have a clue and couldn't tell you truth from the lies our teachers told us. It's not so much disparaging good ol' Chris, but being educated about the falsehoods and misinformation we've been fed. Columbus should be praised and criticized like everyone else. I don't think he deserves special treatment. Like the piece says: Columbus was neither a monster nor a saint. He had some admirable qualities and some very negative ones. He was not a bad or evil man, simply a skilled sailor, and navigator who was also an opportunist and a product of his time.
 
Jun 2018
2,850
724
South Dakota
#6
How about we drop Columbus day since there's evidence the Norse had already discovered America and make ELECTION day a NATIONAL HOLIDAY ????
They never came back and established permenant colonies.
If we scrap Columbus day we should not replace it with anything else. Get the slackers back to work and dare them to bitch about any other holidays.
As for election day, most folks can get that day off if they live a certain distance from their jobs. Remember the time off to vote craziness? Polls are open everywhere for around 12-14 hrs giving anyone with few exceptions the opportunity to vote. Think anyone will vote on a "day off"? No, they'll take monday as a vacation day and have a 4 day weekend!!! If they bother to vote they'll do early or absentee. The only lines will be on the hiways going back into town on tuesday nite.
 
Dec 2013
30,364
18,425
Beware of watermelons
#7
We have bullshit Indigenous peoples day. Now everyone has to go to school. Kinda like the reservations, shitty old stuff that nobody wanted anymore and isnt worth a shit but makes people feel better, right? Just another example of the man taking stuff away from the little guy.



The schools were the ones who spread the bullshit lies about Columbus. We were just talking about this. I remember my 1st or 2nd grade teacher telling us that America was named after the guy in the crows nest who spotted america. Seriously?

None of it really matters, its folklore like much of history but what does matter is that it opened up the Americas to Europe for colonization and trade and was a pivotal point in the history of not only our young nation but the world.

Getting rid of it is just more of the postmodernist movment trying to rewrite our history. IMO this is wrong on many levels.
 
Likes: guy39
Apr 2015
1,616
1,876
Stockport. UK
#8
I've always been confused to why the USA has a Columbus Day, as he played no part in the discovery of North America, not even visiting the northern land mass.
 
Likes: Clara007

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