A Columbus Day PSA: There are Two Sides to Every Story… Good AND Bad!

Dear Columbus Day Haters,

I heard your arguments about how Columbus Day allegedly celebrates the genocide of Native Americans, and that celebrating it is a “form of white supremacy”. Honestly I can’t say I agree with such extreme views, but I also understand history is a messy thing, and Columbus was no saint either! Let’s get something cleared up:

I don’t celebrate the destruction of any culture, much less genocide! I don’t agree with the historical practice that forced many Native Americans to abandon their own cultural heritage, yet also don’t oppose the idea of them learning Euro-American ways as well so they could have been in both worlds. Nor do I agree with everything the government did in the past in regards to them. I honestly find it sad so many native languages are extinct and are becoming extinct as well as culture due to the past policies of assimilation.

However, I ALSO don’t agree with Native Americans historically killing, raiding, raping and scalping settlers either! I condemn the barbarity of their side as well, and it is documented that many tribes were just as bloodthirsty and imperialistic as the Europeans! In Columbus’s day and in the “Wild West” of US history. Many argue European colonizers, including America treated the Natives as if they were sub-human and say that Columbus Day strips them of their humanity by portraying them as “savages”. I agree with you that “Native Americans are human too”, but that goes both ways: Being fully human means having human nature. For good and bad. The other side of the extreme is pretending the Native Americans were on some moral high ground just because white people with better technology conquered them. Better technology does not mean greater moral evil though in terms of intentions. Yes, you could kill more with the “guns, germs and steel”, but it does not make your intentions more evil simply because you can produce a higher body count! Native American tribes were ruthless conquerors who while showing occasional mercy on a captive, more often tortured them and enslaved them, whether White or Native. No, they did not have the same technology as Europeans or Americans, but they had that same all too human lust for conquest, land, prestige and yes, power.

Columbus and future conquerors of the New World were brutal conquerors who did enslave and oppress their weaker adversaries. No one is denying that and saying they were some “woke” culturally sensitive saviors! But you know what? That is the nature of conquest. Political and social oppression and a more powerful conquering group. That’s how it’s been for all of human history. The ugly truth is, EVERY HUMAN GROUP did it to their fellow man. I do not deny the ugliness of the European conquests on the New world peoples. But it is a blatant double standard to condemn Europe and America for doing it, yet turn a blind eye to the indigenous peoples who conquered and oppressed their fellow natives of other tribes. In fact, many native endonyms mean “the people” or “Human Beings”, implying they alone are the real people, everyone else is sub-human! Maybe you’re right we shouldn’t necessarily celebrate or gloss over all the bad Columbus did, but don’t paint Native Americans as some “noble savage” when they too have lusted for land, resources and power and oppressed their adversaries to take their land away from them. History is too nuanced and messy to honestly be reduced to black and white, good vs. evil scenarios. If you want to re-name Columbus Day “Indigenous People’s Day”, you’re merely replacing one conqueror for another. 

Another thing: Much of the issue revolves around Native Americans in the US complaining about their treatment by the government in the 1800’s. However, what land Columbus discovered was not part of the continental United States at all and we’re talking about the 15th century, not the 19th century! So what do current Native American grievances with the US have to do with some 15th century Italian who never clapped eyes on a US Native American tribe? Yeah yeah…. He was one of the first to introduce Europeans to the New World leading to other conquests, but don’t act like it’s a personal grievance when he never was within thousands of miles from your “native” lands your tribe (which may have not even existed yet) conquered from some previous one! If you do that it comes off like you are in it to push an agenda more than historical relevance.

Last point, I find these anti-Columbus day sentiments to be part of a wider troubling trend to condemn any historical figure for not having modern views, or acting according to how we would. In addition, the troubling double standard where Western Civilization in general is condemned and derided without also seeing the positives yet other cultures get off the hook for similar atrocities. Both are flawed and detrimental for anyone who wants a fair and balanced view of the good and bad of history and examining our own culture. No people, person or society is solely good as every country and human group has skeletons in their closets. However, no one is all bad. Including historical figures like Columbus or Western Civilization. It is possible, I will argue to celebrate the good of the West, such as the foundation of a country in North America built on democracy and freedom, as well as great leaps of science and technology and better standards of living today, while also acknowledging that brutality and oppression were done on both sides and no one is truly “innocent” or “guilty” in the big picture for history and the human condition.

Not to mention, we act within our cultural matrix. What we find acceptable to do is determined by our culture and so was Columbus and all the other New World conquerors. It was a brutal world, void of (gasp!) wokeness and “diversity training”, and conquest and assimilation was the accepted practice of the day in the 15th century, just as ideologies of cultural tolerance are for the 21st century. Is it fair to condemn a person for doing what was acceptable in their own culture and time frame? We do not by any means, have to personally agree with what they did or how they thought, but think about this: Who will condemn some attitude YOU have centuries in the future and would you find it fair for them to hold you to their future standards posthumously???

Columbus day is not about celebrating violent genocide and oppression, despite the fact it happened, but about celebrating the discovery of a new land full of new possibilities. The negatives do not have to negate the positives worth celebrating. I understand that may not be your side of the story, but we are celebrating ours. Columbus Day doesn’t have to be your holiday if you find nothing worth celebrating, but don’t demand those who do find something to celebrate in it to stop just because you don’t. England is not entitled to force us to stop celebrating the 4th of July just because it was their defeat. There are two sides to every story, including our side.

Happy Columbus Day,

—A Lady of Reason

Image result for columbus ben garrison

38 thoughts on “A Columbus Day PSA: There are Two Sides to Every Story… Good AND Bad!

  1. This is in response to Emily’s comments. There’s a saying that “The past is another country. They do things differently there.” The study of history is the study of people with different cultures, attitudes and circumstances. To condemn them for those differences is tautological. Of course they viewed the world differently and often behaved in ways that we don’t approve of today. They lived in different times. I don’t doubt that if they knew about the belief’s and doings of today’s world they would be equally disapproving of modern times. It’s a universal conceit that one’s own culture is right and everyone else is wrong. We can learn from the past and, with the benefit of hindsight, see where they made mistakes, but moral judgment should be reserved for what we do today.

    For example, a family transported in time from the 1950’s to today would be shocked and appalled by much of modern culture just as much of what that family did and believed would meet with modern disapproval. Imagine trying to explain to our 1950’s family that, in New York City, they would be fined $250,000 for using the term “illegal immigrant” or that plastic straws are a crime in California. If they heard of unisex restrooms and locker rooms, they would scurry back to the time machine for home. Doubtless our 1950’s family thought of themselves as modern, moral and sophisticated. Can we seriously doubt that culture and notions of acceptability will differ in significant and unpredictable ways 50 or 60 years from now? Columbus lived over 500 years ago about 10 times further in the past than our 1950’s family.

    We shouldn’t misconstrue the Lady of Reason’s posting. She didn’t say that slavery is acceptable, just that our condemnation of it in the past is irrelevant and that history is more complex than a simple view of good guys, the Indians and bad guys, Columbus and the Europeans. Nothing that we can do today would free a single slave from Columbus’ time. Puerile demands to change the name of Columbus Day in a nation that outlawed slavery over a century and a half ago are just symbolic and are unlikely to improve the condition of anyone who is a slave today. Wikipedia’s page on “Slavery in the 21st century” puts the estimated number of slaves today at between 21 to 46 million. I seriously question whether any of them care what we call Columbus Day. They have far more pressing issues to deal with.

    Of course it’s easy to condemn Columbus for his position on slavery. He died 500 years ago. I question why those who are so eager to oppose slavery by calling for a change in the name of a holiday don’t focus their attentions on those who advocate slavery today. For example Suad Salih, a professor at Egypt’s Al Azhar University. advocated the right of Muslims to make sex slaves of non-Muslim female prisoners taken in war. According to her Wikipedia page she said that “If we [Egyptians] fought Israel and won, we have the right to enslave and enjoy sexually the Israeli women that we would capture in the war.” Given the actions of ISIS and others, that view of Sharia is not unique to her. I would be more impressed with those who claim to oppose slavery if they took a stance more relevant to the modern world.

    Tip O’Neill, former Speaker of the House, used to say that all politics are local. I think that that’s true not just as regards physical locality but also in terms of how close an issue is to a person. That explains why much of the movement to rename Columbus Day is more about current politics rather than the historical record as I mentioned in my previous comment. That Emily folds in the issue of sexism and women’s university admission with the Columbus Day debate is an example of that, viewing a debate through the lens of another issue that is important to her. If Columbus took a position on women being admitted to universities, it is not widely known. Given that today women outnumber men on most college campuses, if Columbus did oppose women’s college admissions, it doesn’t seem to have had much effect.

    Much of this debate strays from the point of celebrating Columbus Day. The purpose is to celebrate the man’s accomplishments not his faults. Although the American Indians, the Vikings, Irish Monks and Portuguese cod fishermen preceded Columbus, most of the people in the U.S. are here today because of his discovery. The Colombian Exchange brought worldwide benefits. Whatever his other faults and errors, Columbus figured out that there was land closer than most believed and he had the courage and persistence to prove that he was right. That’s what we celebrate.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. We have a different perspective on this in Canada; for starters, your Columbus Day is our Thanksgiving Day, and even our Thanksgiving Day has a different history than in the US (no Puritans here…). We also already have a National Indigenous People’s Day. June 21 was selected based on it being the solstice and other links of First Nations spiritual and historical importance. For some, that isn’t enough, though, and they want a Reconciliation and Restitution Day to replace another stat holiday. That didn’t get very far, thankfully.

    I am seeing this, however, as part of a much larger pattern. On social media, like clockwork, whenever there is a major North American holiday, the memes, articles and attacks some out. Columbus was really an evil guy, so get rid of him. Christmas and Easter are actually stolen pagan holidays and Christians are evil, so… well, don’t get rid of them, but they must be completely secular (people still want their Holy Days, but don’t want the holy part). Thanksgiving is bad because evil white people betrayed the innocent, pacifist, at-one-with-nature indigenous peoples. Remembrance Day (Nov. 11) is bad because it “glorifies war”, and so on.

    What I am seeing is a major push not to just recognize that, hey, these events commemorate a time when some pretty awful things happened, so lets remember that, too, but to completely rewrite history and devalue any positives that resulted. Those very positives are now considered negatives.

    Perhaps most condescending of it all is the revisionist history of various indigenous peoples. It’s not just whitewashing away the reality that they were pretty awful, too – and it amazes me how many people will attack “western” history for atrocities while at the same time ignoring or ever justifying “native” people’s same atrocities. In rewriting indigenous people’s history and making them out to have been these pacifist victims, all innocent and naive, incapable of standing up to the evil, evil white people, they are wiping out actual indigenous history. History is what it is, warts and all. We need to know about the warts, to learn from them. Yet I have encountered First Nations activists who literally believe that their ancestors were pacifist, nature-loving, spiritualist… hippies, really. Ironically, it embraces the “noble savage” image that was fostered by Europeans, in their limited encounters with the native peoples. It degrades their own ancestors. It neglects their own history. How can you preserve your own language and traditions when you only know the Disney version if it?

    One of my biggest pet peeves is revisionist history, and it is most definitely on the rise right now! Especially during major holidays.

    Liked by 3 people

    • The thing is that Columbus was an evil guy, and it’s entirely possible to study history without having to set aside a national holiday dedicated to commemorating the tyrants of history.

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      • This whole thing falls in line with the current “interest” in revealing people we once held in esteem (past famous people and current popular folks of various achievements across all social strata) for their accomplishments, should now be shunned, excommunicated from society, tarred & feathered, declared “non-persons”, or flat out tossed in prison, because in reality they were jerks, sexual predators, abusers of power for sex, enslaved other humans, picked their noses on Tuesdays, yada, yada… and we should now ignore their achievements/accomplishments as somehow faulty given their own social faults. If we could prove the fellow (or lady, of course) who invented the wheel is proven to have been overheard uttering a racial epithet at a local watering hole, do we now have to surrender all use of his/her invention?

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      • Adolf Hitler created the German Autobahn, that got Eisenhower to apply the concept over here in the form of the Interstate Highway System. I could go on and on about the “benefits” from the existence of the Third Reich. This certainly does NOT absolve that dictator of all his crimes against humanity… but to continue with this Medieval idea that “bad” people need to be forgotten along with their accomplishments is ridiculous. The achievements of man are achievements of good AND bad people… and should be acknowledged in that way as part of human history and should not be part of historical coverups.

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      • What achievements are you alluding to? Because I don’t consider the plunder, subjugation and slaughter of entire cultures in pursuit of personal gain an achievement. And if you place such people on pedestals, don’t be surprised if they get knocked down.

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      • Part of our advancement as humans is also our increasing awareness and understanding of our past; we make additional discoveries that changes historical narratives we once held prominent, or we improve interpretations in the things we’ve already discovered. Point being… “revisionist history” has taken on a negative context through the years, but in fact, we should not be afraid if certain “revisions” become necessary.. IF… determined by improved science or objective exploration… and not emotional political/racial/politically correct pontification. After all… Pluto has ended up not being a planet because our knowledge has improved/changed in making that classification. Such is life. Change the books and move on. Recognizing Columbus as the first to “discover” America has been one of those things taught for a couple hundred years at least. Seems to me that was actually proven incorrect a few decades ago when evidence of the Vikings preceded his arrival. So at the outset here we have a historical accuracy issue. But we kept the day to celebrate rather than piss off the Italians or some similar nonsense. I thought we should have dumped that holiday long ago on historical inaccuracy alone (in fact, as federal holidays go, this one is only half-assed observed and not taken seriously anyway).
        Now we have the issue that Columbus was some genocidal bad-ass and somehow this should determine whether his holiday continues or not. Actually his racist tendencies makes a bit of sense given exploration in those days was about economics and not science, and tended to treat indigenous peoples as ignorant and uncivilized… and if not meant for enslavement then to be killed off. Turned out the importation of disease did most of that.
        As I said… mis-stated history glorified in our classrooms.. the holiday should have been eliminated decades ago, but less for the “crimes of Columbus out weighing his alleged discovery” and more for the entire historical inaccuracy of the event itself..

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      • Thank you for proving LoR’s point. Judging people of the past by today’s standards is called projection, and it’s just as dishonest as revisionist history. He was not an evil guy. Rewriting history to make him out to be one is no different than rewriting history to make him out to be some sort of saint, however he did achieve great things that most of us would never have the balls to ever do.

        https://www.intellectualtakeout.org/blog/columbus-was-awesome

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      • Which has… what to do with Columbus, specifically? You know, the one who is individually singled out as being evil?

        You’ll note that is was also those evil, horrible Christians that were objecting to the things being done to the native peoples. And it was the Church that spoke against these actions, because they recognized that they were wrong.

        “Recognizing the deplorable way in which indigenous peoples were being treated, Pope Paul III, in an extraordinary encyclical from 1537, called demonic those who denied the full humanity of the Indians. Though it was observed largely in the breach, the encyclical is worth quoting at length for its teaching:

        “The enemy of the human race … inspired his satellites who, to please him, have not hesitated to publish abroad that the Indians of the West and the South, and other people of whom We have recent knowledge should be treated as dumb brutes created for our service… We consider, however, that the Indians are truly men… Desiring to provide ample remedy for these evils, We define and declare … that, notwithstanding whatever may have been or may be said to the contrary, the said Indians and all other people who may later be discovered by Christians, are by no means to be deprived of their liberty or the possession of their property, even though they be outside the faith of Jesus Christ; and that they may and should, freely and legitimately, enjoy their liberty and the possession of their property; nor should they be in any way enslaved; should the contrary happen, it shall be null and have no effect.”

        Sadly, these same people who tried to defend and protect the native peoples, recognizing their humanity made them equal in the eyes of God, ended up being targeted and killed by those same people. Because those people did NOT recognize any sort of equal humanity, and did NOT have any concept that what they did was wrong.

        ““Among their different tribes, the injuries of an individual are resented as national. The possession of a hunting ground is, to them, the possession of an empire. These are sources of frequent wars, waged with the most savage ferocity. The butchering and scalping of old men, women, and children, the torturing and burning of prisoners, in cold blood, with the most shocking circumstances of cruelty, are among their pastimes. These are not secret acts of violence. They are by none considered as wrong. They are public transactions, performed, under what is, to them, the law of nations.”

        Speaking of other kinds of tribes, including ancient ones, Chipman observed: “So universal is the state of war among such a people, that in almost every language, the same word, originally, signified both foreigner and enemy.”

        One of the grievances listed in the Declaration of Independence confirmed Chipman’s observations. It claimed that George III “has endeavored to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers , the merciless Indian Savages, whose known rule of warfare is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions of existence.””

        https://www.mercatornet.com/features/view/why-indigenous-peoples-day-isnt-indigenous/22955

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      • What does it have to do with Columbus, specifically?

        Well, Columbus (who was also a devout Christian) was granted the exclusive right to colonize and govern the islands he had “discovered” on his first voyage, and the slavery and human rights violations followed not long after he and his brother began establishing settlements on the islands.

        Eventually reports concerning their mistreatment of natives and Spanish settlers alike got so bad that the Catholic Monarchs sent a judge to investigate, and Columbus and his brothers were sent back to Spain in chains to answer for his crimes.

        https://www.historiadelnuevomundo.com/index.php/en/2017/09/colon-arrested-and-jailed-by-bobadilla

        https://www.historiadelnuevomundo.com/index.php/en/2017/09/the-investigation-against-columbus-brothers

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  3. “Is it fair to condemn a person for doing what was acceptable in their own culture and time frame? We do not by any means, have to personally agree with what they did or how they thought, but think about this: Who will condemn some attitude YOU have centuries in the future and would you find it fair for them to hold you to their future standards posthumously???”

    -Well for starters, you just condemned the natives for being savages, killing, conquering etc and that was acceptable in their culture and time frame. So perhaps that answers your own question with your very own words with a big fat YES it is acceptable.

    -Now that we have passed your questions with a yes…Let’s answer with an ABSOLUTELY yes. We should definitely condemn behaviors that were wrong no matter when in time they happened. Why? Because they can happen again if they are not. Slavery was incorrect then, now, 5 million years from now and it should definitely be condemned and continue to be condemned by whoever is in the future looking back at our past ideas/actions. Sexism (women not being able to enter Universities, not able to obtain credit cards, not able to vote or own property etc) was alive and well during the “culture and time frame” of their perspective decades and centuries but thankfully we still condemn it, criticize it, and avidly work to end it. And this will continue because unfortunately some people STILL have the sexist mentality that women should be subservient to men, should not go to school, and even believe they shouldn’t vote! Anyone doubting this should take a look “The Transformed Wife”‘s blog and realize that yes, wrong behavior and actions from the past should ALWAYS be condemned.

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    • Okay… Sure… Just don’t whine when the next generation condemns some attitude you have and deems you the old-fashioned one. Besides I literally spelled out that one personally doesn’t have to agree with historical attitudes. I certainly don’t on many issues. But what makes us 21st century folk the sole arbiters of universal morality? Are we truly so arrogant to think our current attitudes are THE morally supreme ones and no one in the future will ever condemn us for anything we think is within moral reason? And to clarify further, my point about the Indians was to illustrate how people condemn Columbus for his brutality yet ignore and gloss over the brutality of many native tribes. Either condemn both or understand both in the historical context. In short, there’s a clear double standard and cherry picking of who to condemn.

      P.S. what does having a jab at that other blog have anything to do with our debate? If you have a beef with her go complain on her blog…

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      • There were people who disagreed with those “historical attitudes” then. Why are we acting as if everyone just discovered that rape, torture, murder, slavery, genocide and theft are bad last week? There were plenty of people who knew better as it was happening. They said so then, and we say so now. In the future there will no doubt be people who disagree with some of what we’ve done. If also they try to do better then I don’t see how that’s a bad thing.

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      • Well seeing as I’m defending the recognition of how wrong some ideas/behaviors of the past are, I have no issue with future generations finding inadequacies in policies or practices we currently have today. I HOPE and pray if they do find something incorrect that they don’t dig down their heels and say “well this is what we’ve always done so bah humbug with you wipper snappers!” I bring up Lori Alexander’s peddling because she (as well as the “take me back to 50s segregation and sexism” minions that follow her) is the PERFECT example of someone who longs to keep within her “old fashioned” (sexism, let’s just call it what it was then, now, and what it will still be) ways and is rightly so being attacked for it. Anyone that thinks women should not vote (among a plethora of other sexist notions) is sexist and shared a sexist idea. That sexist idea is not what fits into the norms of this society. And THANK GOODNESS we as a society realized that! Unless you are subscribed to a religion that lays out what morality you are to have as “universal”, morality is defined by the current society and setting. Morality in Saudi Arabia is different than morality in the US. Some specic morals remain the same but some are subject to change. Imagine if we let the 1840s Antebellum South decide our morality. Goodness, women would still be prohibited from going to universities and perhaps even from being allowed to wear pants!

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      • Oh nooo! Skirts- the horror! How could generations of women survive in a dress perfectly fine? 😂 Of course, pants are THE missing component to universal human dignity…. Sorry this is off topic but as someone who exclusively wears dresses and skirts and has an actual life and autonomy I couldn’t resist 😉

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  4. I find it difficult to muster support for a man whose atrocities outweigh his so-called accomplishments. And in this case, even the “they did it too” argument fails, because his own journals inform us that the inhabitants he met were peaceful and friendly.

    So why not acknowledge that setting aside a special day in his honour was a mistake and rectify the error by granting the accolades to a more deserving recipient?

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  5. You are right that both conquerors were just as selfish, blood thirsty, and barbaric and inherentlythe same…so what’s the issue with some people changing it to Indigenous People’s Day? No one is changing history by doing this, they’re just choosing one barbarian over another that had boats. Getting upset over this is honestly the equivalent of Christians getting their panties in a wad over “Happy Holidays” vs “Merry Christmas”.

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  6. Indigenous Peoples’ Day is third-worldism at its finest. If people want to glorify barbarians living in holes in the ground, then fortunately there are still many underdeveloped cultures where people worship trees and eat dirt all day. Essentially the controversy of Columbus Day is rooted in the controversy over white-guilt. We never stole America from the Indians; they all were pillaging killing each other for centuries before we came along. And like you said, every group has done bad things, but can’t change our history.

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      • Who pretends that no other people ever did any wrong? I keep seeing people claim that this happens, but I’ve never heard anyone actually say that white people are the only ones who ever did any wrong.

        We’re Americans so of course we will mostly be talking about what happened in America. In other countries they focus more the things that happened there. Accurate history is not an “attack” on Western culture or white people. Not celebrating someone who oppressed, murdered or committed genocide against your people is not an attack either. They are simply saying that he’s not a hero to them and they are going to celebrate the heroes in their story. That doesn’t stop you from celebrating Columbus or any other person or event that you like. You aren’t being victimized just because someone disagrees and doesn’t want to celebrate a minor holiday.

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  7. Great post as usual. The points that you make underline the fact that the opposition to Columbus Day is less about the historical record than it is about current politics. As you point out, although the Indians objected to being conquered by Europeans, they didn’t object to the principle of conquest and were happy to conquer anyone weaker than they were.

    Calling it “Indigenous Peoples’ Day” rather than “Columbus Day” is just an attempt to brand whites as interlopers and cash in on guilt. As with all the political correctness nonsense that the SJWs peddle, it’s just a demand for handouts and preferences.

    Granted that Columbus wasn’t the first person to discover America, the American Indians got there first and there is evidence that the Vikings and Irish Monks preceded Columbus, but the Columbian Exchange resulting from the 1492 discovery had dramatic influence globally. Columbus Day is really a celebration of how daring endeavor and exploration made the world what it is today.

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    • I suppose anyone can still celebrate it , but
      The alternative to Columbus Day has been gaining momentum around the country recently. Last Tuesday, Wisconsin became the latest state to formally recognize the holiday and the sixth to do so this year after Vermont, Maine, Louisiana, Michigan and New Mexico made the change. A total of 12 states and the District of Columbia now celebrate it. South Dakota was the first state to recognize Indigenous Peoples’ Day in 1990 cbsnews

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      • Even if there is an alternative you can still celebrate Columbus if you want to. I celebrated by shopping a few sales. Indigenous People’s Day didn’t stop the low prices. LOL.

        This reminds me of a debate that some friends were having about the 4th of July. One friend said that she didn’t celebrate it because her people were still enslaved then and that she celebrates Juneteenth instead. They argued about it but it turned out that they both spent July 4th doing the exact same thing. I suspect that whatever people think about Columbus Day or Indigenous People’s Day that they probably spent the day doing the same kinds of things as well. We aren’t all going to think the same about it and that’s fine. Indigenous People’s Day doesn’t stop you from celebrating Columbus, however you may choose to do that.

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      • Why not just not celebrate it and be done with the entire process? Let those who want to, do so, and those who don’t don’t. It’s not exactly a major event, especially since Columbus never set foot on American soil…if anything, It should more accurately be called Viking Day.

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      • You know, A lady of reason, you can still live and celebrate “Columbus Day” the same way you would if it’s renamed Indigenous People’s Day…That’s live and let live…you can even still say “Bah humbug! Columbus Day! Columbus Day! Columbus Day!” To your hearts content even if it’s renamed…Just a thought in case this completely flew over.

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  8. An excellent explanation and one of your best I’ve read in here!
    I had a five year stint living and working adjacent to an Native American reservation and my job required getting close into their culture with considerable personal interaction. It was a very educational and certainly warm experience. But I was left with some fairly strong opinions on tribal living, their politics (each reservation is different, but yet similar simply because they are human), an some historical comparisons. But that’s not for here. I mention it simply to present that tribal living is not in some bubble or sterile environment.. and that before the are Native American they are also first… human beings like all of us.

    But if I may… regarding enslavement in America, I generally cite the historical trial illustrated in Spielberg’s movie “Amistad”… (Morgan Freeman, McConaughey, Anthony Hopkins.. big cast). The movie is very under rated as a historical piece. To be brief…
    “In 1839, the slave ship Amistad set sail from Cuba to America. During the long trip, Cinque (Djimon Hounsou) leads the slaves in an unprecedented uprising. They are then held prisoner in Connecticut, and their release becomes the subject of heated debate.”
    Cinque is captured by slave traders right out from under his family… and is hauled away. The entire case being debated in the courts relates to how to determine if slaves are property or not, who owns them, etc. In the end.. the slaves were returned to Africa. The hook at the end of the film… Cinque returns to his tribe.. only to find that some local tribal disputes led to his wife and child being taken as slaves.. and he would never see them again. The lesson… it’s not only white men enslaving black men… it’s about humans enslaving other humans.

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  9. I don’t pay tribute to the “loser”. You don’t see me calling myself a “German American”, do you? I was an American because I chose the winning side. I wish folks knew this. In history; quite often the loser lost their culture too. It is Colombus Day. The Spaniards “won”. We chose Colombus Day.

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      • On the contrary, I actually meant what I stated earlier. This post of yours is well reasoned.

        One would hope that we as a species can indeed consistently benefit from historical hindsights and do better, even though all too often history repeats itself here and there in one form or the other. In any case, there are obviosuly many outstanding areas and issues awaiting long-term and farsighted solutions.

        I have been away from the blogosphere for a long time until quite recently, as a result of having to deal with the daily demands of filial piety and caring duties, as explicated in the post lovingly crafted and published as a special eulogy entitled “Khai & Khim: For Always and Beyond Goodbye”, published at https://soundeagle.wordpress.com/2019/08/31/khai-khim-for-always-and-beyond-goodbye/

        Eulogy seems to be a kind of writing that is not something that one can practise getting better. Regardless, I would appreciate your offering me some feedback at the comment section of the eulogy, if you can kindly put on your writer’s hood or academic’s hat and give me some useful pointers, considering that I would like the eulogy to be the best tribute to my late mother that I can possibly present. Thank you in anticipation.

        Liked by 1 person

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