Back when I was a wee lad in school, over the course of a couple years, Christopher Columbus transformed from the man single handedly responsible for the discovery of the American continents, to a man who was single handedly responsible for the slave trade and genocide…
Essentially, Columbus’s job was to sail west and find new trade routes to the “Indies,” thus when he came upon the American continents, he referred to them as Indians, much to the chagrin of modern intellectuals who if they COULD – would go correct his vocabulary and hopefully get split from stem to stern by a disinterested Conquistador.
See folks, back in the late 1400s, Spain just finished booting out the Moors after a good century of battle and were hell bent on conquering new territory and spreading Christianity. When Columbus came upon a new land which lacked Christians or Spanish rule – the inevitable happened… those with superior numbers and weapons won.
Was he genocidal? Hardly. Mass murderer? Nope. Did he open the door for a whole lot of killing? Sure, but are we throwing Lincoln under the bus for “single handedly” starting the Civil War? Seriously.
Many things have changed since President Harrison made the decision to celebrate Columbus Day in 1892, but one thing that hasn’t is the seemingly endless need to revise history. Heroes become murderers, murderers become heroes, and another 100 years down the line the cycle repeats. When I start to see Columbus on more shirts than Che Guevara, then I’ll think the ‘mass murderer’ line more seriously.