I wrote this back in 2014, and posted it to Facebook. Now another year has come, and once again I am seeing anti and pro Columbus posts in social media. Instead of posting the essay again on Facebook I though this blog may be a more appropriate place.
To those of you who are posting pro-Columbus posts today in response to the anti-Columbus posts, isn't it more important to simply learn from history, and distinguish the right from wrong so that we may support correct ethical actions our current government takes, and fight against unethical actions our government has taken in the past, or plans on taking in the future? I hope we all are able to agree in this modern day and age that it was morally wrong to invade and commit genocide against an indigenous culture of millions of people in North America so that resources could be stolen from them. The slave trade that is commonly associated with Columbus landing in America also affected millions of people in African nations, and was a catastrophe for all of them as well. Since we can't turn back time and stop it all from happening, we should at least consider these horrible eras in American history as a lesson to learn from, instead of just a 'natural thing that happened to occur when the United States of America was being founded.'
If we don't learn from our mistakes and our government's mistakes, we are doomed to repeat those mistakes again in the future. For example, remember how Bush and the oil companies that supported him financially and politically took over Iraq's oil fields after the US invaded? Even the most hardcore neo-cons I know have felt force to admit that fact now that we are defending them from Islamic invaders. Coincidentally, I have noticed that the same people that defended Bush back then during the invasion in Iraq are attacking people on Facebook today for being against Columbus day.
I didn't buy the cover story of missing tubes and weapons of mass destruction, did you? Even if you did, looking back now shouldn't it be easy for most of us to see through the propaganda, and come to realize we were all lied to back then so that a few would gain more power, and more money? It is obvious that most wars, and slaughters, are fought over money and power. I hope you all realize this is still the case, and why the US military is dropping bombs today. Exterminating millions of American Indians in various ways (i.e. pox blankets, March of Tears, Blue Ridge Massacre, etc.) was horrible for me to learn about in college, and I hope you all agree that it is not something we can ever possibly justify intellectually, and should instead calmly talk about, and actively fight against politically now-a-days.
I have also read a post on FB excusing the genocide the US committed because other nations have committed the same, or worse, atrocities to people they conquered. Just because other nations have committed the same atrocities doesn't make the actions committed by the US government any more justifiable. This isn't even debatable and is akin to saying "I saw a guy kill another guy once, so I am now allowed to kill people too because he did." Not even sure how someone can think in this non-logical manner to be honest.
The story of Columbus they taught everyone I know in High School was false, and obviously whitewashed for a reason. What was the reason they taught it that way in High School? I imagine so that less educated young adults would feel proud of their American heritage, and this holiday, and not question the state's actions in the past, present, or future. I believe that is also the driving motivation of so many people today to call BS on this holiday. They have realized that they were lied to back then, and throughout their lives, by mentors, friends and family who believed in the lies for emotional reasons, and because they were force fed lies as well by other authority figures. These people who believe Columbus day is not a day to celebrate want to proclaim their independent mind to the rest of the propagandized world that still pretends to know better than them, and looks down on them for being "different" than the people in propagandized social circles.
Isn't it time for even the most hardcore supporters of the US empire to take a step back and agree with this common conclusion about Columbus and the era he lived in? When the northern colonies had enough of the human exploitation they fought a Civil War over these subjects, and over half a million more people died on top of the millions brutalized or killed in Africa and North America before then. Don't let all their deaths loose meaning. Instead, learn from it all and make a better world as a result of this understanding